Drama at the top for Airbus (more below) with two of its top brass checking out. Asian stocks traded mostly lower on Friday with the Hang Seng dipping almost -1.5%. Sunny Optical Technology Group and AAC Technologies saw -12.07% and -6.45% falls. However the South Korean Kospi was the exception, up more than +0.40%.
Some of the Asian nervousness was down to progress of US tax legislation following a move by Senator Marco Rubio to vote against. Rubio wants reforms, including more generous child tax credits for low-income families. Some US politicians opposing the Trump tax code changes claim it will add up to $1.5tn to Federal debt.
Back in Europe prime minister Theresa May saw European leader support in Brussels following her House of Commons defeat on an amendment to Brexit legislation. European leaders are fearful of May facing a leadership challenge, not to mention the potential for the Palace of Westminster to propel May back to Brussels to argue for a better deal.
The warmer Brussels response towards May has done little for sterling so far, up a modest +0.11% at 7am against the euro while sterling is trading +0.07% higher against the dollar at 1.3439.
- UK FTSE 100 7,448.12 -0.65%
- DAX 13,068.08 -0.44%
- CAC 40 5,357.14 -0.78%
- Dow 24,508.66 -0.31%
- S&P 500 2,652.01 -0.41%
- Nasdaq 6,856.53 -0.28%
- Nikkei 225 22,553.22 -0.62%
- Gold 1,257.70 +0.05%
- Oil WTI 57.19 +0.26%
Airbus chief Tom Enders quits
Both Airbus boss Tom Enders and chief operating officer Fabrice Brégier are to leave the company in the next 18 months. The news is not unexpected: Airbus is under investigation for alleged corruption and bribery. “It’s been a long and exciting journey but now is the time to initiate a leadership change,” Enders said a statement.
Enders looks likely to leave by April 2019. The latest round of top job exits follow the departure of Airbus sales boss John Leahy meanwhile Marwan Lahoud, in charge of Airbus strategy, left last year. As well as corruption allegations Airbus is also thought to be taking a hard look at the future of its flagship A380 plane following indifferent demand.
However Delta Airlines says it has ordered 100 A321neo planes over Boeing’s 737 Max 10 model. The Delta deal is potentially worth more than $12bn before discounts. Airbus shares are down -1.06% at €85.34 but still substantially up from a year ago (€64).
Sky agrees BT subscription deal; Persimmon execs depart
Sky says it has signed off a deal with BT allowing both to sell their channels via each others' platforms. Practially it means Sky customers can watch Premier League and UEFA Champions League games. Sky will make its NowTV streaming service available on BT TV set-top-boxes. Sky says this will broaden the reach of Sky's channel brands to all major pay-TV services in the UK.
Housebuilder Persimmon says chairman Nicholas Wrigley has quit – no successor as yet. Jonathan Davie, senior independent director, left yesterday.
Breaking news: Domino’s Pizza Group says it will repurchase up to £20m of ordinary shares. Swedish retailer H&M says it will be closing more bricks-and-mortar stores while upping its online presence following less-than-impressive 4Q sales. Trinity Mirror says it predicts a -21% dip in print ad revenues for the full year.