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Rio Tinto iron ore shipments fall, Experian Q3 revenues rise

By Digital Look

Date: Friday 17 Jan 2020

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 was called to open 13 points higher at 7,622.
Stocks to watch

Rio Tinto reported a 3% fall in iron ore shipments in 2019 as a cyclone and a fire at a port facility disrupted operations.Iron ore shipped from Australia's Pilbara region in 2019 was 327.4m tonnes, inside its forecast of 320m - 330m, the company said.

Rio said it expected 2020 shipments to be between 330m -343m tonnes.

Credit-checking firm Experian reported a 9% jump in total third-quarter revenue and backed its expectations for the year.

A solid performance in North America - where revenue rose 11% - helped to offset declines in the UK and Ireland and EMEA/Asia Pacific.

Newspaper round-up

The brothers who own the high street bookmaker Betfred are making millions from a business that treats public sector staff for health problems including gambling addiction, the Guardian can disclose. Betfred's owners, the billionaire Tory party donors Fred and Peter Done, also own Health Assured, which holds dozens of government contracts to provide health and wellbeing programmes to staff. - Guardian

The completion of two new hospitals whose construction was brought to a halt by the collapse of the government contractor Carillion has been delayed by two more years and will run hundreds of millions of pounds over budget, according to Whitehall's spending watchdog. The 646-bed Royal Liverpool, originally scheduled to open in 2017, is now forecast to be completed in the autumn of 2022 and cost more than £1bn to build and run compared with an original estimate of £746m, according to the National Audit Office. - Guardian

China's economy weakened to its slowest pace in three decades in 2019 as weaker domestic demand and trade tensions with the United States took their toll, official data shows. The world's second-largest economy grew by 6.1pc last year, its worst performance since 1990, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The figure is within Beijing's official target of 6.0-6.5pc. But last year's growth was down from 6.6pc in 2018. - Telegraph

One of the world's biggest law firms advised Lekoil on a supposed deal with the Qatar Investment Authority that turned out to be fake, The Times has learnt. Norton Rose Fulbright is understood to be the "retained UK legal counsel" that gave the Aim-quoted Nigerian oil explorer advice before it signed the bogus $184 million loan deal. The disclosure that such an established law firm did not spot the apparent fraud may be embarrassing for Norton Rose Fulbright but adds new intrigue to the emerging scandal. - The Times

US close

Wall Street stocks surged to new records at the closing bell on Thursday, after the US and China signed their "phase one" trade agreement during the previous session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.92% at 29,297.64, the S&P 500 added 0.84% to 3,316.81, and the Nasdaq Composite finished 1.06% higher at 9,357.13.

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