A bout of unremarkable trading in Asia through today though Chinese shares got a fillip from the passing of the Trump tax bill. Hong Kong listed Tsingtao Brewery shares slumped hard, down -7%, following a new stake by Fosun International. The Nikkei was down -0.11% though Sumco Corp and Chiyoda Corp saw strong gains, up +4.3% and +3.9%.
The Hong Kong dollar is now close to its weakest point against the US dollar for almost two years. Overnight the pound was down -0.14% against the greenback at 1.3367 while the euro weakened -0.08% to 1.186. Against the pound the euro was +0.06% stronger at 0.8879.
Bad news for Bombardier: the US Commerce Department has ruled that the Canadian company was bolstered by government subsidies enabling it to sell its C-series jets below cost. Crucially for the UK, the move could mean job losses in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile Toys R Us appears to have clinched a compromise funding agreement with the Pension Protection (PPF) Fund that could save 3,200 jobs. The PPF wants £9m to be paid up front but Toys R Us has offered to pay off the overall deficit earlier, Sky News reported.
- UK FTSE 100 7,525.22 -0.25%
- DAX 13,069.17 -1.11%
- CAC 40 5,352.77 -0.56%
- Dow 24,726.65 -0.11%
- S&P 500 2,679.25 -0.08%
- Nasdaq 6,960.96 -0.04%
- Nikkei 225 22,866.10 -0.11%
- Gold 1,269.40 -0.02%
- Oil WTI 58.14 +0.09%
Tories act on leasehold 'feudal' misery
UK housebuilders, including names such as Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon, have been shamed by the government: no more new home lease sales. From today no new house can be sold on any leasehold basis, unless there are substantial shared liability complications.
“It’s unacceptable for home buyers to be exploited through unnecessary leaseholds, unjustifiable charges and onerous ground rent terms,” Sajid Javid, communities secretary, said.
Big name housing players have seen a trend of selling new houses then charging ground rent and demanding permission to make alternations. It’s thought there could be up to 1.4m houses affected but, unfortunately, no retrospective action looks likely currently. Taylor Wimpey shares are up more than +55% in the last three years while Persimmon shares have rocketed +77% in the same time frame (and up almost +3% in the last week at 2,722.00p).
UK car production stumbles in November
Brexit uncertainty and confusion over the government’s longer-term taxation and air quality plans – including the future of taxation on diesel cars – all drove November car production lower. The UK saw a -4.6% unit drop, equivalent to almost 7,800 vehicles. It was the fourth consecutive monthly production dip (October saw a -2.9% slip).
"Clarity on the nature of our future overseas trading relationships, including details on transition arrangements with the EU, is vital for future growth and success,” said Mike Hawes, boss of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), clearly concerned about the future.
However exports climbed +1.3% though nowhere near enough to offset the domestic slump. “Whilst it is good to see exports grow in November, this only reinforces how overseas demand remains the driving force for UK car manufacturing,” said Hawes.
Breaking news: Nick Wilkinson, ex boss of Evans Cycles, is the new chief exec at homeware stores player Dunelm.