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Intertek replaces CFO Ed Leigh, Diploma gobbles up FS Cables

By Josh White

Date: Wednesday 22 Aug 2018

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 is expected to open 42 points lower on Wednesday, having closed down 0.34% at 7,565.70 on Tuesday.
Stocks to watch

Intertek has replaced chief financial officer Ed Leigh with group financial controller Ross McCluskey in a management shakeup at the product testing company. Leigh will leave the board immediately and give way to McCluskey, who will report to chief executive Andre Lacroix.

Go-Ahead Group announced on Wednesday that group chief financial officer Patrick Butcher would be leaving to join Capita as CFO there. The FTSE 250 passenger transport operator said it had now begun a process to appoint a successor, with a further announcement to be made in due course. It said Butcher would be staying with Go-Ahead "for the next few months" to support the business during the search for a successor.

Diploma has announced the acquisition of St Albans-based FS Cables for £18m in cash, in a deal that is expected to be immediately earnings-enhancing. FS Cables, which comprises Caplink Limited and FSC Global Limited, provides essential specialist electrical, data and communications cable products and solutions to a broad base of mostly UK-base customers.

Newspaper round-up

Britain would face labour shortages in London and the south-east from a no-deal Brexit, according to a report calling for the government to extend freedom of movement for EU migrants to protect the wider economy. The Centre for Cities think tank urged the government to extend freedom of movement for two years after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, in the event of no deal on the terms of exit and future relations with the union. - Guardian

Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon may be big fans, but the rise of publicly owned energy companies looks like it is faltering in the face of tough market conditions. The movement was dealt a blow this month when a newly Lib Dem-controlled Portsmouth city council scrapped the former Conservative administration's plans for an energy firm. - Guardian

Superdrug has advised thousands of its online customers to change their passwords after hackers attempted to blackmail the high street retailer, claiming to have stolen personal information on thousands of people. In an email, the high street pharmacy and beauty chain said it had been contacted late on Monday by a group which claims to have obtained the personal details of 20,000 customers of Superdrug's online shopping service. - Telegraph

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the cryptocurrency millionaire twins best known for suing Mark Zuckerberg over the creation of Facebook, have launched a push to legitimise the controversial world of digital currencies such as Bitcoin. The Virtual Commodity Association, an industry group led by the Winklevosses' own online cryptocurrency exchange, said it planned to "promote fairness, transparency, risk management, and liquidity" in the market. - Telegraph

A leading shareholder in J Sainsbury has resoundingly backed its proposed £12bn merger with Asda, saying that it would help the supermarket retailer to go "toe-to-toe" with Tesco. Martin Walker, UK equities fund manager at Invesco Perpetual, the third largest shareholder in Sainsbury, said that Mike Coupe, the boss of Sainsbury's, was putting his job and reputation on the line for a merger that offered "huge" financial benefits. - The Times

A five-year-old start-up that wants to kill off email in the workplace has raised more than $427m from investors, including Baillie Gifford, the Scottish fund manager. The bumper funding round raises Slack's valuation to $7.1 billion, a 40 per cent increase on its previous funding round last year. - The Times

US close

Wall Street trading finished in the green on Tuesday, despite Donald Trump's best efforts to talk down the dollar earlier in the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.25% to 25,822.29, the S&P 500 rose 0.21% to 2,862.96, and the Nasdaq 100 was 0.25% higher at 7,397.23.

Earlier, the Dow climbed 80 points after the bell, knocking on the door of 25,850 - 900 points away from January's all-time high.

However, as SpreadEx's Connor Campbell pointed out, the index "really needs" the week's US-China talks to go the right way, or "it could find its rise coming to an abrupt halt".

The US dollar weakened overnight after Trump criticised the Federal Reserve again for lifting interest rates. In an interview with Reuters, Trump said the Fed should do "what's good for the country".

"Of course it helps that the dollar was dealt a Donald overnight, a Donald being any kind of blow stemming from President Trump's irascible nature," Campbell said.

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