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24 Jul, 2020 16:48

Weekly review

The FTSE 100 ended the week down 166.48 points at 6,123.82.

Equity view

AstraZeneca announced on Friday that ‘Breztri Aerosphere’, or budesonide, glycopyrrolate and formoterol fumarate, has been approved in the United States for the maintenance treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

UK education publisher Pearson swung to a first-half loss due to the impact of the coronavirus, but said it expected to deliver adjusted operating profit broadly consistent with expectations.

Engineer IMI posted a rise in interim profit on Friday, thanks in part to a temporary surge in demand for ventilator parts due to the coronavirus pandemic, and said it was reinstating its full-year dividend.

LXi REIT announced a number of disposals and an accretive acquisition on Friday, selling two portfolios of long-let social housing assets for a combined sum of £10.7m to two separate infrastructure funds.

Relx - formerly Reed Elsevier - reported a 10% fall in interim revenue on Thursday as the Covid-19 pandemic weighed on the company’s exhibitions business.

Daily Mail and General Trust said operating profit almost halved in the nine months to June as the company felt the full force of the coronavirus pandemic.

Howden Joinery swung to a first-half loss as the coronavirus lockdown hit earnings in the second quarter, although there were signs of a recovery in the second half.

Software group Sage saw recurring revenues grow in the nine months ended 30 June as the firm continued to focus on migrating existing customers and attracting new clients to its business cloud product.

Engineering company Melrose Industries warned of potential job losses as it looked to cut costs after second quarter sales slumped during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

Payment services group Paypoint reported a decline in first-quarter revenue on Wednesday as strength in the UK retail services business was offset by weakness in bill payments.

Computacenter said on Wednesday that its adjusted profit before tax in the first half turned out to be “substantially ahead” of the same period last year.

Copper miner Antofagasta reported lower second quarter production after coronavirus restrictions cut workforce numbers, with the company maintaining guidance for output at the lower end of guidance.

BHP Group reported a 7% rise in fourth-quarter iron ore output, but warned the resurgence of coronavirus outbreaks threatened the short-term demand outlook for its main commodities.

Capital & Counties said on Tuesday that the value of its Covent Garden estate fell by 17% as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the company’s tenants, many of whom were forced to close their doors in March.

Euromoney reported a decline in revenue on Tuesday as it took a hit from the cancellation and postponement of events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

HICL Infrastructure has agreed to acquire the remaining 50% interest in the M17/M18 Gort to Tuam Road public-private partnership in the Republic of Ireland, it announced on Tuesday, from the Marguerite I Fund, for €41m (£36.97m).

Swiss investment bank UBS and its US rival Morgan Stanley are the front-runners to organise the listing of Vodafone's European towers unit.

Healthcare investor Syncona said its portfolio company Freeline Therapeutics has filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering (IPO).

The UK government has agreed to buy 90 million doses of coronavirus vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Biontech, and France’s Valneva.

Specialist publisher Future said on Monday that, with around two months of the current financial year remaining, its trading was expected to be towards the top end of market expectations.

Economic news

UK retail sales continued to recover in June as non-essential shops reopened amid the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

UK consumer confidence was steady in July as lockdown measures were eased, according to a survey released on Friday by market research group GfK.

Output volumes in the UK manufacturing sector fell sharply again in the three months to July amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but manufacturers were more optimistic about the outlook, according to the latest survey from the Confederation of British Industry.

Dyson announced it was cutting 900 jobs globally on Thursday, with 600 of those in the UK, citing the Covid-19 crisis as hastening its ongoing restructure.

The government is understood to be abandoning hopes of striking a post-Brexit trade deal in time to meet Boris Johnson’s July deadline, it was claimed on Wednesday.

The Confederation of British Industry has called on a ban on new gas boilers from 2025 onwards to push the UK towards meeting its net-zero climate targets.

UK public sector borrowing hit a quarterly record in June as the government battled the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with some economists forecasting it was on course to hit 20% of gross domestic product during the current fiscal year.

British grocery sales recorded the fastest rate of growth on record in the last three months to top £31bn, industry data showed on Tuesday.

International events

Business activity in the eurozone returned to growth in July as governments eased lockdown restrictions, according to preliminary figures released on Friday.

China’s Foreign Ministry announced Friday that it is revoking the license for the US consulate in Chengdu.

Initial jobless claims in the US rose modestly and somewhat unexpectedly during the previous week, marking the first increase since March.

Twitter has admitted that the hack carried out last week that affected over 100 of high-profile accounts did manage to access direct messages.

Gold rallied in morning trading on Wednesday to hit a nine-year high, as it moved within sight of breaching all-time records.

Sales of second-hand homes in the US leapt past forecasts last month as buyers moved to pick up what they perceived as bargains.

A bad-tempered European Union summit ended early Tuesday after almost five days, with leaders agreeing finally on an historic stimulus plan worth €1.8trln to save their coronavirus-ravaged economies.

The lead researcher in Oxford University's push to find a Covid-19 vaccine alongside AstraZeneca cautioned on Tuesday that there could be no certainty that it could be rolled out by Christmas - although it was possible.

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Important Legal Notice about News Sources

 

Pilling and Co Stockbrokers Ltd. is not responsible for the content or accuracy of third party news articles and we may not share the views of the author.

We provide third party news for your convenience and information only and make no representation or endorsement whatsoever and hereby exclude all liability for any loss or damage that may be incurred by you as a result of your access or use. Please note that third party content may be subject to terms and conditions imposed by the third party owner of that content.