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Meggitt signs $15m aircraft maintenance deal, NMC Health cash flow improving

By Josh White

Date: Monday 10 Dec 2018

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 is expected to open 39 points lower on Monday, having closed up 1.1% at 6,778.11 on Thursday.
Stocks to watch

Aerospace engineer Meggitt has signed a $15m (£11.79m) deal with aircraft maintenance, repair and modification company Turkish Technic. The five year global agreement covers spares and maintenance activities across Meggitt's whole range of products and services from high-performance sensing systems to fire protection and control, pneumatic, fluid control, thermal management and electro-mechanical equipment.

NMC Health said its cash flow generation was improving in the second half of the year, as the Gulf region hospital operator reaffirmed full year sales and profit guidance. The FTSE 100 group said it had also won a new operations & management contract with the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs to manage a hospital in Seychelles.

IP Group's portfolio company Avacta Group has agreed an 'Affimer' therapeutics development partnership and license agreement with South Korean biotechnology firm LG Chem Life Sciences, it said on Monday, worth up to $180m across upfront, near-term payments and development milestones. The FTSE 250 intellectual property development company said Avacta's agreement, which was aimed at developing Affimer therapeutics in several disease areas, could also result in an additional $130m in option fees and milestone payments should LG exercise their options for additional targets.

Newspaper round-up

A pair of hedge funds owned by prominent Brexit supporters have made significant bets against companies exposed to the British consumer including big high street names. Odey Asset Management, part-owned by Crispin Odey, and Marshall Wace, part-owned by Sir Paul Marshall, have declared short positions against consumer-exposed companies, including retailers, estate agents and banks, equivalent to £149m and £572m respectively - as rising political uncertainty threatens the economy. - Guardian

The crisis on Britain's high streets is to intensify this Christmas, with shopkeepers preparing themselves for the quietest festive period since the credit crunch, according to forecasts. A combination of low consumer confidence because of Brexit, more agile online competitors and Christmas shoppers increasingly buying experiences such as concert tickets instead of products, will combine to ruin the season for more high-street stores, said the retail research group Springboard. - Guardian

Amazon plans to open a futuristic checkout-free store near Oxford Circus in London, The Sunday Telegraph has learned, in a sign its efforts to bring the "Amazon Go" concept to the UK are accelerating. Industry sources said the push to open the store in the West End, Europe's busiest shopping area, was being orchestrated by Amazon's US team, and not out of the UK. - Telegraph

Directors of Britain's biggest private companies are under pressure to clean up their act with a new set of "principles" aimed at preventing another BHS-style collapse. A series of scandals has pushed the accounting regulator, the Financial Reporting Council, to issue the new guidelines for bosses. - Telegraph

Theresa May is facing the prospect of a leadership battle with the 48 letters from MPs that would trigger a contest likely to be submitted this week, The Times has been told. Tory challengers broke cover to set out their leadership pitches yesterday before the most difficult week of Mrs May's troubled premiership. Boris Johnson tried to put himself at the head of a jockeying pack by outlining plans for another negotiation with Brussels. Other former ministers refused to rule themselves out of a contest. - The Times

Interserve is braced for another chaotic day of share dealing today after it emerged that it was in talks to restructure its finances. Any deal agreed could result in significant losses for its lenders and may virtually wipe out the investments of existing shareholders. In a statement issued last night, Interserve, one of the government's biggest outsourced services contractors, sought to allay market fears that it was heading towards the precipice, a year on from the collapse of its erstwhile rival Carillion. - The Times

US close

US stocks added to their losses at the end of the week on the back of a weaker-than-expected reading on US jobs for the month of November and ongoing concerns regarding the outlook for US-China trade talks.

By the end of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.24% or 558.72 points at 24,388.95, while the S&P 500 had fallen 2.33% or 62.87 points to 2,633.08 and the Nasdaq Composite was 219.01 points or 3.05% weaker at 6,969.25.

On Thursday, equity markets in the US staged a late rebound, with the Dow and S&P closing well off their lows and the Nasdaq Composite ending in the green but on Friday, Wall Street failed to pull-off the same trick even as European indices staged a slight bounce.

Speculation that the Federal Reserve could tighten monetary policy at a slower rate than expected just a few weeks ago failed to offset renewed trade war jitters sparked by the arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer during the previous weekend.

Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said: "Already market expectations of a rate hike this month have moderated a little - now standing at 78% according to Reuters - and I think people are more and more coming around to the idea that the Fed will be much less hawkish in its assessment than it has been."

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