Weekly review

Josh White WebFG News | 01 Dec, 2017 17:05 - Updated: 17:05 | | |

The FTSE 100 ended the week down 108.41 points, or 1.46%, at 7,300.49.

Equity view

Barclays has transferred shares of Barclays Africa Group Limited to complete a sale agreed in June and confirm its 14.9% stake in its former subsidiary.

Redefine International marked a “significant event” in its history on Friday, as it rebranded to RDI REIT - an acronym for Real Estate Diversified Income REIT.

Housebuilder and regeneration partner Countryside Properties was under the cosh on Friday after private equity firm Oaktree Capital - its largest shareholder - sold a 15% stake in the group.

Specialty biopharmaceutical company Shire has appointed Andreas (Andy) Busch as executive vice president, head of research and development and chief scientific officer with effect from January 2018.

DS Smith, Just Eat and Halma will join the FTSE 100 next month after the latest quarterly index reshuffle was confirmed, with ConvaTec Group, Merlin Entertainments and Babcock International Group all demoted to the FTSE 250.

BAE Systems has agreed to pay more into its pension schemes to recover a £2.1bn deficit by the year 2026.

GlaxoSmithKline announced on Thursday that ViiV Healthcare, the global specialist HIV company it majority owns with Pfizer and Shionogi as shareholders, will start HPTN 084 - a phase III study to evaluate long-acting cabotegravir for the prevention of HIV infection in sexually active women.

Marston's said business was growing as expected this year after the pub operator and brewer increased annual profits in what it described as challenging conditions.

London Stock Exchange said chief executive Xavier Rolet had left the company after weeks of wrangling over the terms of his departure.

Tullow Oil said on Wednesday that it has secured $2.5bn of debt refinancing.

FirstGroup welcomed a new strategic vision for the Great Western rail network from the Department for Transport on Wednesday, with the DfT confirming it would exercise its option to extend First’s franchise in the region by one year, to 1 April 2020.

Pennon Group reported a 5.6% uplift in its first-half revenue on Wednesday, to £723. 9m, with its board claiming higher water revenues were driven by customer demand.

Food producer and supplier Cranswick reported a rise in profit and revenue for the first half as it hiked its dividend by 15%.

Shaftesbury lifted its dividend 8.8% to 16p as the net asset value of its properties in London's West End enjoyed "healthy" demand and progress was made on letting its larger developments.

UDG Healthcare posted a rise in full-year profit on Tuesday as it announced that chief financial officer Alan Ralph plans to retire by the end of next year.

Shares in Ocado surged after the online grocery retailer said it has signed an agreement with Groupe Casino to develop the Ocado Smart Platform in France.

Ultra Electronics has won a brace of contracts, one in the UK and one with Sweden's Saab, two weeks after the defence and security supplier issued a profit warning due to a slowdown in UK defence spending.

LondonMetric Property has exchanged on the sale of an Odeon cinema in Derby and a retail asset in Guisborough for £18.6m, it announced on Monday, reflecting a blended net initial yield of 4.8%.

Infrastructure investment group International Public Partnerships said on Monday that Transmission Capital Partners, the consortium comprising INPP, Amber Infrastructure and Transmission Investment, has been appointed as preferred bidder for the long-term license and operation of a further offshore transmission project.

Pearson has agreed the sale of Wall Street English to a consortium consisting of funds affiliated with Baring Private Equity Asia and CITIC Capital, it announced on Monday.

Economic news

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn told Morgan Stanley that banks were right to consider him a threat due to his plans to overhaul a rigged economy that benefits speculators at the expense of everyday people.

Activity in the UK manufacturing sector picked up in November, hitting its highest level since August 2013, according to data released on Friday.

Net migration to the UK fell by the largest amount since records began in the year following the Brexit vote, official figures show.

UK consumer confidence ebbed more than expected this month, according to a widely followed survey from GfK.

Terry Burns, the former Treasury mandarin and Channel 4 chairman, has been chosen as the government's preferred new chair of media and telecoms regulator Ofcom.

The Financial Conduct Authority has accused four fund management companies of breaking competition law by sharing information during share offers.

Westminster has reached an agreement with Brussels, in principle, on its so-called Brexit 'divorce bill', according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Bank of England said none of the seven high street banks needs to strengthen its capital position as a result of its stress tests, though it will require them to hold extra capital as Brexit nears.

A new industrial strategy proposed by the government on Monday hopes to solve the UK's productivity puzzle and generate private investment via "sector deals" to boost business in the medium and long term.

Keep buying the dips, this bull market still has legs, strategists at Citi told clients, albeit with two caveats.

International events

Former US national security adviser Michael Flynn has been charged with making false statements to the FBI in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election, with Wall Street markets falling sharply as reports suggest he will testify against Donald Trump.

The results of the most widely-followed survey of manufacturing conditions in the States dipped slightly last month, but continued to point towards robust conditions in the sector.

Economic activity in the Chicago area deteriorated less than expected in November, according to figures released on Thursday.

Inflation in the eurozone ticked higher in November, according to the latest data from Eurostat, while the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in October.

US President Donald Trump has retweeted a series of anti-Muslim videos from the leader of far-right party Britain First Jayda Fransen.

North Korean officials have claimed that the ballistic missile it launched on Tuesday has the capability of striking any part of the United States.

Consumer confidence in the States strengthened for a fifth consecutive month in November, nearing its loftiest mark in almost 20 years.

Ireland narrowly avoided an election that held the potential to throw a spanner in the works of crucial Brexit negotiations after the country's Deputy Prime Minister Frances Fitzgerald chose to step down from her role, putting an end to a political impasse that began a week earlier.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the Social Democratic Party (SDP) back to the negotiating table on Monday as she looked to them for help in securing a stable government.

The pace of new home sales in the US accelerated far more quickly than expected last month, led by activity in the Northeast and Midwest.

More news

16:06 Airbus chief executive to step down in board shake-up

The chief executive of French planemaker Airbus will step down from his position in 2019 as the company announced a major shake-up of its management team.

16:06 FTSE 250 movers: TalkTalk rises but Serco gives back gains

London’s FTSE 250 was up 0.1% to 20,023.23 in afternoon trade on Friday as the Christmas lull kicked in.

16:05 US industrial production rises slightly less than expected in November

Industrial production in the States rose slightly less quickly than expected last month, despite higher output of business equipment and materials.

16:03 Strategic Minerals renegotiates acquisition of Leigh Creek Copper Mine

Diversified mineral production and development company Strategic Minerals announced on Friday that, after the successful completion of technical and financial due diligence on the Leigh Creek Copper Mine company, it has agreed to continue with the acquisition on renegotiated terms.

15:54 FTSE 100 movers: Sky jumps but retailers retreat on H&M sales

London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.3% to 7,469.23 in quiet afternoon trade on Friday.

15:49 Gfinity partners with Microsoft for next Halo World Championship

International esports entertainment group Gfinity has been named as a preferred event partner to Microsoft for the forthcoming ‘Halo World Championship 2018’ for the next season, it announced on Friday.

15:46 Hutchison Chi-Med begins fruquintinib trial in US

Hutchison China MediTech, known as Chi-Med, has initiated the United States Phase I bridging clinical trial of fruquintinib, it announced on Friday.

14:50 Ceres Power upbeat ahead of half-year point

Solid oxide fuel cell technology developer Ceres Power Holdings updated the market on its trading ahead of the end of the six month period to 31 December on Friday.

14:46 Conviviality offers failed P&H £25m for 109 stores

Independent alcohol wholesaler and distributor of alcohol and impulse products Conviviality announced on Friday that its wholly-owned subsidiary Bargain Booze has offered to acquire the business and assets of 109 convenience stores, and the rights as franchisor of a further 18 franchisee-operated stores trading under the fascia 'Central Convenience'.

14:43 Nektan's Respin signs deal with Seven Feathers Casino

Respin, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nektan, has reached an agreement with Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Oregon.