Brent crude soared past $65 a barrel for the first time since 2015 overnight. The price bounce is partly down to the UK Forties Pipeline System closing for emergency work. More OPEC commitment to production cuts is helping tighten price sentiment higher also. However US benchmark WTI oil lags Brent crude due to less supply pressure thanks to rising US shale production.
At 9.30am UK monthly inflation CPI figures emerge (Kantar Worldpanel grocery market share is out at 8am). The CPI index climbed to 3% in October, the highest annual rate for a full 12 months. Despite recent increases in petrol and diesel pump prices, some are not expecting a rise for November. However food prices last month climbed at their highest clip for four years (Christmas is looking expensive for many).
Overnight most Asian markets saw falls with the Hang Seng down -0.40% and the Shanghai Composite slipping almost -1% with airlines sharply down (China Southern and Eastern airlines saw -6% and -5% dips).
On the currency front it’s the US Fed’s meeting tomorrow keeping volatility tight-ish currently. At 7am the pound was trading -0.03% lower against the dollar at 1.3342 and the same amount lower against the euro at 1.1326.
- UK FTSE 100 7,453.48 +0.80%
- DAX 13,123.65 -0.23%
- CAC 40 5,386.83 -0.23%
- Dow 24,386.03 +0.23%
- S&P 500 2,659.99 +0.32%
- Nasdaq 6,875.08 +0.51%
- Nikkei 225 22,866.17 -0.32%
- Gold 1,246.70 -0.02%
- Oil WTI 58.39 +0.69%
Unibail-Rodamco moves on Westfield for $25bn
We start with news that Oz shopping centre operator Westfield, owner of 35 UK and US shopping centres, has been snapped up for $25bn by Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco, Europe's biggest commercial property operator. Westfield shareholders will get close to a 20% premium ($7.55) to Westfield’s closing price on Friday.
Recently UK’s Hammerson offered more than £3bn to buy Intu. The flurry of retail property deals is partly due to a consolidation response to weaker consumer confidence (affecting valuations) and the threat from online retailerers. “Unibail-Rodamco’s track record makes it the natural home for the legacy of Westfield’s brand and business,” Westfield chairman Frank Lowy said in a statement.
Balfour Beatty predicts steady margins for 2018
Earlier housebuilder Balfour Beatty issued a trading update – Group 2017 performance is in line with Board expectations and Balfour says it’s confident of “industry-standard” margins for the second half of 2018.
Looking ahead the order book “increasingly consists of projects bid and delivered under our enhanced transparency, governance and controls and I remain confident that the Group will achieve industry-standard margins in the second half of 2018." Balfour Beatty’s share price at 272p is +2.3% up in the last week but down -1.7% over the last 12 months.
Breaking news: ExxonMobil says it will measure profits against climate change risk – a significant change of tack helping investors quantify long-term risk. The UK’s National Crime Agency estimates £90bn of criminal cash is laundered via the UK annually.
Carpetright says full-year profits will likely be at the lower end of market expectations. "Our first half profits reflect the impact of the clearance of discontinued lines in our beds business and also unsuccessful deeper discounting promotions in the Netherlands and Belgium." Trading for the next six months also looks challenging, it warns.