After the blows taken by global stock markets last week the Asian mood today was more sanguine with the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng seeing +1% and +0.67% gains (Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday, National Foundation Day). The best Shanghai Composite performers were Shanxi Antai Group and Yonyou Network Technology, both up more than +10%.
Slightly better news for oil with a WTI +1.40% price climb earlier to $59.87 but still short of $60. Recently US oil production sailed past the 10m barrels a day mark for the first time in 50 years, adding to general price pressure. (The US has reversed its position as the world’s largest importer of crude, now poised to come close to Saudi and Russian output – if not overtake them completely.)
Just before 7am sterling was +0.21% higher against the dollar at 1.3853 but -0.06% lower against the euro at 1.1276. Tuesday will be a data-sensitive day for markets with UK inflation numbers out at 9.30am. Retail sales arrive later on Friday, also sterling-sensitive. Both numbers could come in lower, holding back the pound, still on the defensive from UK Brexit transition progress – a transition period was not “a given” EU negotiator Michel Barnier made clear last week.
Expect some buoyancy from UK stocks this morning following the calmer Asian trading sentiment.
- UK FTSE 100 7,092.43 -1.09%
- DAX 12,107.48 -1.25%
- CAC 40 5,079.21 -1.41%
- Euro Stoxx 600 368.61 -1.45%
- Dow 24,190.90 +1.38%
- S&P 500 2,619.55 +1.49%
- Nasdaq 6,874.49 +1.44%
- Nikkei 225 21,382.62 -2.32%
- Gold 1,325.20 +0.71%
- Oil WTI 59.86 +1.11%
Barclays Bank faces new SFO charges
This morning the Serious Fraud Office confirmed it would investigate Barclays Bank over its fundraising strategy with Qatar during the financial crisis which saw the bank swerve a public bail-out. A probe has been underway since 2012, closely looking at a $3bn loan to Qatar in November 2008.
“Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank PLC intend to defend the respective charges brought against them,” it said in a statement this morning. “Barclays does not expect there to be an impact on its ability to serve its customers and clients as a consequence of the Charge having been brought.”
Barclays shares were -2.25% down at 192.40p last week and are almost -16% lower over 12 months..
Wood Group snags new Aramco contract; Aldi deposes Waitrose
Wood Group said this morning it had won a five-year contract to support Saudi Aramco with a new mega-project in The Kingdom.
There was also a trading update from waste-to-product business Renewi which claims it’s on course for €12m of savings for the year to 31 March. “We remain confident that the overall €40m synergy programme will be delivered on schedule.”
Which? has named Aldi as top UK supermarket, booting out Waitrose from top spot to fourth place. M&S and Lidl came second and third. Sainsbury’s was ranked worst.
Breaking news: This morning brewer Heineken said operating profit for the full year climbed +6.2% to €3.76bn. Last year Heineken took over more than 1,900 pubs from Punch Taverns.