Portfolio

Weekly review

By Duncan Ferris

Date: Friday 13 Sep 2019

(Sharecast News) - London's FTSE 100 index ended the week 85.12 points higher to 7,367.46.
Equity view

Barclays said it now expects to face a bill for payment protection insurance redress significantly greater than it had previously anticipated and provisioned for.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa resigned months of trying to pull the company out of the chaos unleashed by the ousting of Carlos Ghosn in November.

Lloyds Bank said it was increasing provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) to £1.2bn - £1.8bn in its third quarter and suspending its share buyback programme after a higher-than-expected spike in claims ahead of the August deadline.

IAG-owned British Airways took the unprecedented decision to ground almost all of its flights amid a two-day strike by its pilots, blaming pilots' union Balpa for not informing it ahead of time of which pilots were planning to strike.

Air France-KLM shares fell sharply on Monday amid reports suggesting that it might be set to table a bid for struggling regional carrier Aigle Azur even as the company warned of the toll that softer economic conditions were taking on its own business.

Shares of shopping centre owner Intu Properties surged following a report over the weekend that private equity firm Orion Capital Managers is considering a buyout.

Office space services provider IWG is considering the sale of its Canadian operations, according to a source cited by Bloomberg on Tuesday.

Chinese telecommunications equipment company Huawei dropped one of its lawsuits against the US government after Washington returned equipment that had been seized.

Sportswear retailer JD Sports defied the high street gloom as it posted a jump in interim pre-tax profit and said it expects full-year results to come in at the mid-point of expectations.

Cairn Energy swung to a first half profit on higher oil and gas output as it upgraded full year production forecasts.

Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals shares surged in pre-market trade on Tuesday after the company said it has agreed to sell its BioVectra unit to private equity firm HIG Capital for around $250m.

Martin Sorrell's S4 Capital said it was on course to double in size by 2021 as it reported a jump in first-half revenues and billings.

The US Federal Trade Commission is ramping up an investigation into Amazon over its online marketplace by interviewing small businesses that sell through the company, reported Bloomberg on Wednesday.

Galliford Try reported a fall in annual profit and revenue as its results were impacted by a drop in completions from its Linden Homes unit, while contract write-downs hit construction operations.

Retailer John Lewis warned on Thursday that it would take a "significant" hit from a no-deal Brexit, as it swung to a first-half loss.

Energean Oil & Gas cut its full-year production guidance and said it swung to an interim loss, as rising costs more than offset a jump in revenue.

A consortium led by Babcock was named preferred bidder for a £1.25bn contract to build five Type 31 warships for the UK navy.

The London Stock Exchange rejected a £29.6bn takeover offer from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, saying it remains committed to its acquisition of financial data and trading platform provider Refinitiv.

Nationwide Building Society said on Friday that it has set aside an extra £20m to £50m for payment protection insurance (PPI) claims, following a surge in enquiries ahead of the August deadline.

Pub chain operator JD Wetherspoon reported higher annual sales and lower profits as the founder Tim Martin lashed out at anti-Brexit campaigners.

SSE said it was selling its retail business to OVO Group for £500m comprising £400m cash and £100m in loan notes.

Economic news

The UK economy grew more than expected in July, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Monday, easing concerns that the country might be on track for a recession.

The UK unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked a little lower in July as average earnings hit an 11-year high, but job creation slowed according to figures released on Tuesday.

Chancellor Sajid Javid was on Tuesday warned that his planned public spending increases were on track to break government borrowing rules.

The UK parliament was unlawfully suspended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Scotland's highest civil court ruled on Wednesday.

Sir Amyas Morse has been appointed to conduct an independent review into the loan charge which will examine its effectiveness in dealing with disguised remuneration loan schemes used by individuals to avoid paying tax.

BMW workers in the Mini plant in Oxford will take unpaid leave for two weeks or more in the case of a no-deal Brexit due to major disruptions in the carmaker's business, the company said.

The outlook for the UK housing market darkened in August as uncertainty about Brexit takes its toll, according to the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

International events

Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Monday warned his British counterpart Boris Johnson that a no-deal Brexit would still require him to negotiate an agreement on the future relationship with the EU.

The German trade surplus widened in July as exports unexpectedly rose, according to data released by Destatis.

Margrethe Vestager has been chosen to serve another five-year term as the head of the European Union's competition policy and will continue to oversee ongoing probes into various technology gaints.

China confirmed it would exempt 16 categories of US goods from 25% tariffs that it imposed on roughly $50bn worth of imports last summer.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired national security adviser John Bolton, saying he disagreed "strongly" with the controversial foreign policy hawk.

The European Central Bank unleashed a barrage of new stimulus measures on Thursday, as had been widely anticipated, and opened the door to further easing if needed in order to bring inflation back to target.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that he would block the development of Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency libra in Europe, saying that it would put the sovereignty of governments at risk.

The Ifo Institute said that Germany's economy is heading for a recession as it cut its growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020.

Eurozone industrial production fell more than expected in July, according to figures released by Eurostat on Thursday.

China will exempt some US agricultural imports, such as pork and soybeans, from additional tariffs, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua.

The Trump administration announced that it is planning to open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that has been protected for decades to oil and gas drilling.

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