Weekly review

By Josh White

Date: Friday 22 Sep 2017

(ShareCast News) - The FTSE 100 ended the week 95.17 points higher at 7,310.64.
Equity view

Tanzanian gold miner Acacia Mining said its third mine in the country is likely to start generating cash again after positive results from a trial to increase the proportion of sellable gold bars.

Saga, the specialist provider of products and services for those over 50, reported solid growth of 5.5% in underlying profits before tax for the first half as it ordered a second new cruise ship amid high demand.

Oil rig builder Lamprell posted a drop in first-half revenue on Friday as it warned that revenue for 2018 would be 10% lower on the year.

Lufthansa and easyJet have been selected as possible buyers for the aviation business of Air Berlin, which filed for insolvency last month.

CRH has struck a deal to acquire Kansas-based Ash Grove Cement Company for $3.5bn.

Fresnillo worked to reassure investors over the security of its operations on Thursday, after a fatal and devastating earthquake hit Mexico City on Tuesday.

FTSE 100 catering group Compass said on Thursday that Richard Cousins will step down from his role as chief executive officer on 31 March 2018.

In a bid to accelerate its "transformation" into a diversified specialist banking institution, the Paragon Group of Companies revealed a "strategic reorganisation" of the group on Thursday.

Diageo issued an update on its trading on Wednesday morning, claiming its business continued to strengthen through improved marketing, innovation and commercial execution, as investors prepared for the company's annual general meeting.

GlaxoSmithKline's positivity around its Trelegy Ellipta product continued on Wednesday, as the company - alongside US firm Innoviva - announced headline results from the landmark phase III IMPACT study.

Babcock reiterated its guidance for the year on Wednesday as it said trading has been in line with its expectations.

Domino's Pizza Group announced a £15m share buyback to be completed by mid-October.

Medical products and technology company ConvaTec Group announced the European introduction of GentleCath Glide on Monday, which it described as an "intermittent catheter" developed to provide convenient hydrophilic catheterisation for daily users.

Reckitt Benckiser Group has chosen Chris Sinclair to be its next chairman after Adrian Bellamy decided he will retire from the role next year.

Online grocery specialist Ocado reported a slight acceleration of growth in the third quarter of the year but comments about a short-term spike in costs hit the shares on Tuesday.

IAG has joined the fray for all or part of bankrupt German peer Air Berlin, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Petra Diamonds posted an 11% improvement in revenue for the year in its preliminary results on Monday, to $477m, while its adjusted EBITDA fell 4% to $167.2m.

Insurer Esure rallied on Monday following a report that its founder, Sir Peter Wood, was looking to sell his stake in the company.

Dairy Crest Group reported cheese sales volumes and values in the six months to September are ahead of last year, with profit also increased.

BAE Systems will assemble 24 Typhoon fighter jets to be supplied to Qatar after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon signed a first major arms deal with the Gulf state.

Economic news

Theresa May was set to tell EU leaders that there was a shared responsibility between them to ensure that they could "smoothly" implement Brexit in an attempt to break the current stalemate in negotiations.

Factory orders in the UK grew at their weakest rate since April in September, according to the latest survey from the Confederation of British Industry.

Public sector borrowing was lower than expected in August, as government spending remains depressed by austerity programmes but allowing the Chancellor's a little room for a fiscal boost in his forthcoming budget.

Ahead of the UK Prime Minister's major Brexit speech on Friday, chief European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has warned Theresa May against trying to have her cake and eat it and stressing that if a transition period is requested it will first require a withdrawal agreement.

UK retail sales spiked higher on the back of inflationary pressures and increased sales volumes in August, official figures revealed on Wednesday.

As part of her United Nations address on Wednesday, Theresa May was set to urge technology companies to go "further and faster" with their efforts to remove extremist content from the internet.

The UK's independent regulator has announced the closure of its investigation into KPMG's audit of collapsed banking and insurance company HBOS, after finding that the group could not have anticipated the extreme market conditions that led to the bank's problems.

On Tuesday afternoon, Boris Johnson denied that he had been preparing to resign by the end of the week as rumours circulated that a rift had formed between the Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister Theresa May over their Brexit strategies.

A report from the Low Pay Commission, which advises the government on minimum wage levels, found that women made up the majority of workers whose employers failed to pay them the minimum wage.

The UK government announced on Monday that it was looking to finalise a comprehensive new security, law enforcement and criminal justice partnership with the EU after Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019.

International events

Business activity in the eurozone unexpectedly picked up in September, according to data released on Friday

Kim Jong-un has responded to Donald Trump's recent threats where the latter said he would "totally destroy" North Korea if the US or its allies were attacked.

Rate-setters at the Bank of Japan kept all their main policy settings in place overnight despite recent stronger-than-expected economic growth, even as inflation continued to fall short of its target by a wide margin.

Standard & Poor's cut its rating on China's long-term debt rating following a prolonged period of strong credit growth that has increased the country's financial and economic risks.

America's central bank has stuck to script - or almost - announcing it will begin to taper the size of its balance sheet next month while keeping the target for its main policy interest rate unchanged at between 1.0% and 1.25%.

US oil inventories jumped last week even as rising imports offset a partial recovery at the country's refineries.

A poll released on Tuesday predicted that Chancellor Angela Merkel would secure her fourth election victory when it came time for the German people to cast their votes on Sunday.

US President Donald Trump has said that his administration and its allies are willing to 'totally destroy' North Korea if it is forced to defend itself against the regime.

The founder of the Rolling Stone has announced plans to put his controlling stake in the 50-year old music and counterculture magazine up for sale, although no mention was made of whether the company is already in talks with potential buyers.

Bitcoin refused to slow down on Monday even though reports continued to circulate that Beijing had decided to move forward with a crackdown that would see it hit with a wide range of sanctions in China, one of its biggest markets.


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