Weekly review

By Josh White

Date: Friday 20 Nov 2020

(Sharecast News) - The FTSE 100 ended the week up 35.06 points, at 6,351.45.
Equity view

Hochschild Mining reinstated its dividend and said operating costs in the current financial year would be lower than previous guidance.

Student accommodation manager and developer Unite Group said on Friday that it has bought a new 800-bed development site in Paddington, central London, from Travis Perkins.

Accounting software firm Sage lifted its dividend as it reported a 8.5% rise in organic recurring revenue to £1.6bn, driven by growth from existing and new customers, in North America and Northern Europe.

Property investment and development company Segro said on Friday that it has received approval for a secondary listing on Euronext Paris as it looks to maintain an efficient holding structure at the end of the Brexit transition period.

Johnson Matthey reported a slump in first-half pre-tax profit on Thursday as the coronavirus pandemic dented demand but said it expects a "materially stronger" second half.

LondonMetric increased its dividend as the property company reported strong rent collection and higher revenue in the first half.

Online trading platform CMC Markets reported a record first-half performance on Thursday as it benefited from ongoing volatility related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Residential landlord Grainger said on Thursday that net rental income had grown in the year ended 30 September despite the uncertainty created by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Energy supplier SSE reported a fall in adjusted operating profit after taking a £115m hit from the coronavirus pandemic, but also maintained its interim dividend payout.

Spirax-Sarco Engineering backed its full-year expectations on Wednesday as it reported an improvement in third-quarter trading.

Speciality chemical company Croda International has agreed to acquire fragrances and flavours firm Iberchem, it announced on Wednesday, for €820m (£736m) on a debt-free, cash-free basis.

Property development and investment company British Land reinstated its dividend on Wednesday despite failing to turn a profit in the first half of its trading year.

Primary care property investor and developer Assura reported a rise in interim profit on Tuesday as it said rent collections have remained in line with normal patterns despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Experian posted a decline in first half profits despite organic sales growth in the Americas, as the novel coronavirus pandemic hammered other regions.

Homeserve reported revenue growth of 17% to £536.7m in its first half on Tuesday, which it said was driven by strong growth in North America and the inclusion of revenue from eLocal, of which it acquired 79% in November 2019.

Exploration and production company Energean said on Tuesday that it had continued to make "solid progress" on its Karish development throughout the third quarter of the year.

IT provider Kainos lifted its dividend as half-year profits doubled, driven by a strong rise in revenue at its healthcare unit which has been helping the NHS with its Covid-19 test and trace programme.

Diversified engineer Smiths Group said on Monday that it was on track to meet market expectations for the full year as it reported a dip in first-quarter revenue.

Diversified technical and services group Diploma increased its dividend as it reported a fall in full-year profits.

Transport group Stagecoach has agreed to an extension to waivers on £325.0m of debt as part of an effort to help it navigate the Covid-19 pandemic.

Economic news

The UK government borrowed a less than expected £22.3bn in October as tax receipts outstripped forecasts, official figures showed.

Consumer sentiment dipped further in November as households worried about their personal finances, a widely followed survey showed.

UK factory orders fell at a faster pace in November as the second wave of Covid-19 hit demand, a Confederation of British Industry survey showed.

UK inflation edged higher in October as the price of clothing rose, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics.

UK house prices accelerated faster than expectations in September fuelled by the Chancellor's stamp duty holiday and households looking for more space, official figures showed.

The UK has become less attractive as a place for overseas companies to invest during the Covid-19 crisis but its appeal is relatively strong compared with the rest of Europe, a survey showed.

The Financial Conduct Authority has banned lenders from repossessing homes until February 2021 and extended mortgage payment holidays, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

The UK retail sector saw footfall tumble last week, industry data showed on Monday, as fresh lockdown restrictions came into force.

Ireland's foreign minister warned talks about a post-Brexit trade deal remained at an impasse as discussions entered a crunch week.

Young people who have lost their job during the pandemic will miss out on thousands of pounds in retirement through their inability to find work.

International events

WHO advises doctors against treating Covid-19 patients with Gilead Science's remdesivir drug (under the name Veklury) that has "no meaningful effect" on survival or need for ventilation.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, warned of a third wave of Covid-19 cases and urged governments to gradually lift the restrictions for the holiday period.

Americans continued filing for unemployment claims at an elevated level last week, this time at a slightly accelerated pace.

Venezuelans have begun stealing crude oil from idled fields owned by state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela after months of shortages.

Carnival said it planned to raise $1bn (£753m) with an equity offering to buy convertible bonds back from their holders.

The US Federal Aviation Administration is set to approve the return of the Boeing 737 MAX to the skies after two years of scrutiny and a standoff with global regulators.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that although the announcements of new potential effective vaccines for Covid-19 are positive news, "many questions" remain and there is no time for complacency.

Industrial production in the US bounded ahead last month, led by gains in factory and utilities output, even as softness in the oil patch dragged on mining.

Chinese industrial production beat expectations in October and retail sales accelerated as the world's second-biggest economy continued to recover from the slump caused by Covid-19.

Japan's economy rebounded strongly in the last quarter, government data showed on Monday, beating forecasts.


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