Level 2

Weekly review

By Josh White

Date: Friday 30 Oct 2020

(Sharecast News) - The FTSE 100 ended the week down 283.01 points at 5,577.27.
Equity view

AstraZeneca said it was selling the commercial rights to its heart failure and hypertension drug Atacand and Atacand Plus in around 70 countries globally to Cheplapharm Arzneimittel for $400m.

Computacenter said on Friday that it is "very comfortable" with its current full-year expectations as it has entered the fourth quarter with good short-term visibility and a strong backlog of orders.

Vivo Energy said on Friday that it will pay its previously-withdraw 2019 dividend as it reported an improvement in third-quarter volumes amid an easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Commodity trading and mining firm Glencore delivered a "solid" third-quarter operating performance, with the effects of several Covid-19 related shutdowns being reversed in the three month period.

Advertising company WPP reported a fall in third-quarter sales on Thursday, but the pace of the decline eased from the previous quarter.

Smith & Nephew reported a "significant improvement" in trading in the third quarter on Thursday as global levels of elective surgeries continued to recover following the initial hit from the Covid-19 pandemic, while its US business returned to growth.

Kaz Minerals said on Thursday that all of its metals were on track to achieve or exceed its full-year production guidance after the first nine months, assuming there was no new material impact from the Covid-19 pandemic.

BT said its first half revenue was "relatively resilient" on Thursday, falling 8% to £10.59bn, which it put down to the impact of Covid-19 including reduced BT Sport revenue and a reduction in business activity in its enterprise units, as well as declines in its legacy products.

Pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi said they had agreed to make 200m doses of their potential Covid-19 vaccine to a worldwide pooled facility.

Medical products company ConvaTec said on Wednesday that it expects to deliver full-year revenue growth at the higher end of guidance following a better-than-expected performance in the third quarter.

Tate & Lyle has agreed to buy an 85% stake in CMS, a tapioca modified food starch manufacturer located in Thailand, for an undisclosed sum.

Brick maker Ibstock forecast annual core earnings of £50m after reporting better-than-expected third quarter trade as demand continued to improve after the Covid-19 lockdown.

UK budget carrier easyJet said it had raised $398.6m (£305.7m) from the sale and leaseback of nine aircraft to bolster finances hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Contracts-for-difference platform Plus500 reported a jump in third-quarter revenue and earnings on Tuesday amid market volatility, and said results for the full year are set to be line with market expectations.

Dechra Pharmaceuticals said on Tuesday that first-quarter trading has been stronger than expected.

Whitbread saw its revenue slide in its first half, swinging to a loss, due to the closure of the vast majority of its business for a large part of the period.

Student accommodation provider Unite Group said it had appointed Future chairman Richard Huntingford in the same role.

Workers at an historic Rolls-Royce plant in Lancashire have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action in response to an offshoring plan that could result in 350 job cuts.

SAP shares tumbled on Monday after the German software company cut its full-year revenue guidance as the Covid-19 pandemic dents demand.

Oil exploration, development and production company Mosman Oil and Gas has executed contracts to acquire an additional 80.83% working interest of the Cinnabar Lease in East Texas for £62,500 cash, it announced on Monday, increasing its working interest to 97%.

Economic news

Annual house price growth in the UK hit a five-year high in October but activity looks set to slow, according to a survey released by Nationwide on Friday.

UK mortgage approvals hit their highest level in 13 years in September, while consumer credit declined, according to figures released by the Bank of England on Thursday.

Advertisers are cutting over £700m from their marketing budgets in the run-up to Christmas due to the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

Homelessness in rural areas more than doubled over the past two years, revealed a report from countryside charity CPRE and the Rural Services Network on Wednesday.

A Brexit deal could be ready by early November after progress made by negotiators in unblocking disagreements on maintaining a s0-called 'level playing field' between the UK and the European Union.

UK retail sales fell in October at the fastest since June, according to a survey from the Confederation of British Industry.

The UK hotel industry could need four years to fully recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and return to 2019 levels of business.

Boots will offer a new coronavirus testing service provided by LumiraDx devices that will give its results in 12 minutes.

An estimated 6m small businesses in the UK which employ around 16.6m people are now in a precarious situation due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

International events

In the third quarter of 2020, Huawei shipped 51.7m smartphones or 23% less than the year before, according to a Canalys report published on Thursday.

Americans splashed out at a stronger than expected pace last month. According to the Department of Commerce, in September personal consumption expenditures grew at a month-on-month pace of 1.4% (consensus: 1.0).

The European Union may be in a position to start deliveries of a Covid-19 vaccine "in earnest" in April.

Berlin imposed a one-month lockdown overnight in a bid to stem the resurgence in Covid-19 infections evident since early October.

America's shortfall on trade in goods with the rest of the world narrowed by more than expected last month, as imports dipped.

The Bank of Canada left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday as it signalled there was little chance of a rate hike until 2023.

Outlays on investment goods in the US continued growing at a steady pace last month, boosted by orders for transportation equipment.

Money supply growth in the single currency bloc accelerated unexpectedly sharply in September, a possible positive signal for short-term growth prospects although it likely came too late to save fourth quarter gross domestic product.

China's ByteDance is in early talks to take some of its businesses public including popular video app Doyin and its news aggregation service Toutiao.

New home sales in the States fell unexpectedly last month. According to the US Department of Commerce, in seasonally adjusted terms new home sales fell by 3.5% month-on-month to an annualised rate of 959,000.

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