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Weekly review

By Josh White

Date: Friday 23 Oct 2020

(Sharecast News) - The FTSE 100 ended the week down 59.3 points at 5,860.28.
Equity view

InterContinental Hotels on Thursday reported an improvement in third quarter trading with the decline in revenue slowing compared with the prior three months.

CLS said it had sold an office and retail building in the German city of Freiburg to an unnamed buyer for €22.5m excluding costs.

Plastic foam products company Essentra said on Friday that improving trends seen in the second quarter had carried on into the third.

Pharmaceutical firm Indivior revealed on Friday that former chief executive Shaun Thaxter had been sentenced in United States Federal Court.

Consumer goods giant Unilever on Thursday reported a better-than-expected 4.4% rise in underlying third quarter sales as people continued to buy more hygiene and food products.

Building materials group Travis Perkins reported an improved trading trend during the third quarter as Britons turned to DIY amid markets recovering from the coronavirus lockdown.

Instrumentation group Spectris said on Thursday that it had seen "positive momentum" in a number of end markets during the three months ended 30 September.

British Airways-owner IAG posted a €1.3bn third quarter loss and downgraded its capacity guidance as Covid-19 restrictions continued to hammer the travel market.

Chilean copper miner Antofagasta reported a decline in third-quarter production on Wednesday but backed its guidance for the full year.

South American miner Fresnillo cut full year gold production guidance due to coronavirus-related disruption and lower ore grades.

Segro reported "strong" rent collection in its fourth quarter on Wednesday, with UK collection at 85% of total rent billed, which was higher than at the equivalent date in the second and third quarters.

Wealth management firm Quilter reported a somewhat steady third quarter on Wednesday, with substantially improved net flows.

BHP on Tuesday reported a 7.2% rise in first-quarter iron ore production as demand from China stabilised, but warned of a slowdown in the current three month period.

Britvic said on Tuesday that adjusted profit for 2020 is expected to be slightly ahead of current market consensus after better-than-expected trading over the summer, as it announced a new and exclusive bottling agreement with PepsiCo.

AstraZeneca announced on Tuesday that 'Tagrisso', or osimertinib, has received acceptance for its supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA), and has also been granted Priority Review in the United States, for the adjuvant treatment of patients with early-stage epidermal growth factor receptor-mutated (EGFRm) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), after complete tumour resection with curative intent.

LXi REIT announced three profitable disposals for a total of £17m on Tuesday, as well as two accretive acquisitions in the foodstore sector, which were being acquired for a total of £15m, reflecting a blended net initial yield of 5.5%.

Security firm G4S on Monday again rejected GardaWorld's £3bn offer as the Canadian company posted full details of its 190p-a-share bid.

John Laing Group has agreed to sell its portfolio of Australian wind farm assets to First Sentier Investors (FSI), it announced on Monday, for AUD 285m (£157m), before disposal costs.

Boohoo shares slid on Monday after the fast fashion retailer confirmed that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) will not be participating in its tender process for a new auditor.

Commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company Amryt Pharma announced the signing of a distribution agreement with Swixx BioPharma of Baar, Switzerland on Monday.

Economic news

UK consumer confidence tumbled in October amid growing concerns about the state of the economy and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey released on Friday.

UK retail sales rose in September for the fifth consecutive month as they continue to recover from the Covid-19 slump, but analysts sounded a cautious note about the outlook.

The Bank of England is not poised to deploy negative interest rates, its chief economist insisted on Thursday.

The decline in UK manufacturing slowed over the last three months, an industry survey showed on Thursday, as lockdown measures eased and demand picked up.

The UK government borrowed £36.1bn in September taking borrowing in the first six months of the financial year to a record £208.5bn, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday.

Waitrose and Co-Op are cutting prices of essential goods by an average of over 15% ahead of a Christmas that will likely bring more economic travails for customers.

UK's National Cyber Security Centre together with US intelligence agencies revealed that the Russian military intelligence services were planning a cyber-attack on the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

The Bank of England's Gertjan Vlieghe looked to give some cautious support for negative interest rates on Tuesday, as he warned of a "tremendous challenge ahead" for the UK economy.

The UK's poorest households, who are unable to afford paying for their winter fuel bills, will get help from their suppliers under new rules from Ofgem.

The House of Lords is likely to dilute or strike out some of the more contentious parts of the government's Internal Market Bill, possibly making it easier to strike a deal with the European Union.

International events

Euro zone economic activity fell back into decline this month as the coronavirus pandemic hammered the services sector and offset improvements in manufacturing.

Intel's shares plummeted after the chip-making giant posted worse than expected sales for its data-center unit.

German consumer confidence looks set to decline in November amid rising coronavirus cases, according to a survey released on Thursday by market research group GfK.

US Director of National Intelligence John Ratfcliff accused Russia and Iran late on Wednesday of trying to interfere with the 2020 US presidential election.

Countries in the European Union have agreed on Wednesday to set aside part of the bloc's farming policy budget for 'green' schemes that protect the environment.

The leader of the Republican majority in the US Senate dialed back on his opposition to a fourth government stimulus package.

Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine candidate could be ready for use in December, the company's boss said.

Stocks on Wall Street are bouncing back and Treasury yields inching higher following reports that lawmakers in the US were narrowing their differences on a fourth fiscal stimulus package.

China's economy continued to recover in the third quarter, albeit a little less than expected.

The European Union must come up with a strategy to fight disinformation about 5G technology, a group of 15 countries including Poland and Sweden said.


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