Portfolio

Weekly review

By Josh White

Date: Friday 15 Dec 2017

(ShareCast News) - The FTSE 100 finished the week up 90.09 points, or 1.22%, at 7,490.57.
Equity view

Sky and BT have agreed a deal to sell their channels on each other's platforms.

The chairman of housebuilder Persimmon, Nicholas Wrigley, is planning to retire following a dispute over an incentive scheme for executive pay.

BGEO Group announced on Friday that its utility and energy subsidiary, Georgia Global Utilities, has begun construction of Bodorna hydro power plant near Bodorna reservoir.

Real estate investment trust Tritax Big Box has agreed terms to extend the maturity on its existing loan facility with Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale.

Australia's competition regulator has warned that it is likely to block BP's proposed acquisition of Woolworths' retail fuel business.

Bunzl said it was considering further acquisitions after the purchase of an industrial packaging company took its spending on takeovers this year to a record £600m.

IMI has agreed to acquire Bimba, a manufacturer of pneumatic, hydraulic and electric motion solutions with an extensive distributor network principally servicing the North American industrial automation market, it announced on Thursday.

United Utilities said its plans to meet new water pricing requirements were at an advanced stage after it consulted with customers.

Quality assurance provider Intertek Group has acquired Maryland, US-based security certification solutions provider Acumen Security for an undisclosed consideration, it announced on Wednesday.

British American Tobacco is continuing to perform well with trading in line with expectations, it said in its pre-close trading update for the second half of the year on Wednesday.

Manufacturing and engineering group Senior has won a five-year contract with Spirit AeroSystems through its subsidiary Senior Aerospace UPECA.

Essentra has acquired 100% of the share capital of Micro Plastics for an undisclosed cash consideration, it announced on Wednesday morning.

A one-monthly schizophrenia treatment developed by heroin-addiction specialist Indivior has been accepted for review by the US drug regulator.

Specialist chemicals firm Elementis said it had agreed to sell its Netherlands surfactants business to Kolb Distribution for €39m in cash.

Glencore shareholders were told of the company's position as the "leading producer" of tier 1 commodities - that is, copper, cobalt, nickel, zinc and thermal coal - during an investor update set down for Tuesday afternoon.

John Laing Group said it had sold its 100% investment in Llynfi Wind Farm in Wales to John Laing Environmental Assets Group for £43m before costs.

Global thread maker Coats said it had bought US specialiast yarn manufacturer Patrick Yarn Mill for $21m with a further $4m on the table subject to performance targets over three years to 2020.

Qatar has agreed to buy 24 Typhoon fighter jets for £5bn from BAE, the company confirmed on Monday.

Investec said it has "immaterial exposure" to South African retail giant Steinhoff International, which caused alarm for its lenders after its shares fell 80% last week, though though some derivatives exposure could put a dent in profits.

Spirit Energy, the exploration and production joint venture which combines Centrica's E&P business with Bayerngas Norge, has begun trading as an independent oil and gas operator, it announced on Monday.

Economic news

The Scottish government is set to implement a minimum 50p unit price for alcohol on 1 May 2018, which will have the greatest effect on beer and cider.

European Union leaders have agreed to start the next phase of Brexit negotiations on Friday, having given Prime Minister Theresa May's overnight speech a warm reception.

UK retail sales increased much more than expected last month due to a statistical anomaly caused by Black Friday.

The Bank of England kept policy on hold by a unanimous vote as had been widely-anticipated given previous guidance for a very gradual pace of tightening over the medium-term.

UK wage growth is picking up slightly but still remains well short of inflation, while the number of people claiming unemployment benefit reached a five-month high.

Highways England, the government body responsible for roads, could receive as much as £30bn for the next Road Investment Strategy (RIS2)

As food inflation hit its highest level in four years, Tesco and Sainsbury's enjoyed the strongest sales growth of the big four supermarkets in recent weeks, though the quartet continued to lose market share to discounters.

Official UK figures showed house prices are falling more than expected and are predicted to worsen in coming months.

UK retailers face lower festive spending this year after a survey indicated consumer spending ebbed lower for the third month running in November.

A tax on meat is being considered to reduce the negative impact that its consumption has on climate change, water pollution, deforestation and diseases like obesity, cancer or diabetes.

International events

A widely-followed gauge of factory sector conditions in the jurisdiction of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York dipped in December, just as expected by economists.

The Federal Communications Commission has voted to revoke net neutrality legislation introduced by Barack Obama in order to limit the power of large telecoms firms.

Business activity in the eurozone accelerated in December, with manufacturing activity at a record high, according to figures released on Thursday.

The Ifo Institute bumped up its German growth forecasts for next year as it highlighted strength in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

Donald Trump was dealt a major blow on Tuesday after Republican candidate Roy Moore was defeated by Democrat rival Doug Jones in a senate election in the GOP stronghold of Alabama.

Consumer prices in the US confounded economists again last month as core inflation fell short of their forecasts, weighed down by a sharp drop in apparel costs.

Small business confidence in the States jumped higher still last month to reach its second-highest mark in over four decades, the results of a widely-followed survey revealed.

French president Emmanuel Macron has called on world governments to stay the course on fighting climate change despite America's decision to retreat from the Paris accords.

Consumer price inflation in Asia's largest economy slowed more than expected last month, weighed down by falls in food prices, but economists expected it would recover in 2018.

Strategists at JP Morgan reiterated their 'overweight' stance on global stocks going into 2018, pointing out that economic growth would continue to be above-trend and that analysts' forecasts for corporate profits had room to increase.

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