Carpetright, a bellwether for UK retail sales, issued a profits warning earlier (more below). Friday trading saw continued investor optimism with the Asia Dow up +0.63% while the Nikkei crept +0.20% higher. In China, encouraged by yesterday’s strong fourth quarter economic growth numbers, the Shanghai Composite rose, at one point, to a two-year high. In Taiwan, the Taiex saw a 28-year-old high supported by a +2.4% climb from Taiwan Semiconductor.
Elsewhere, some concern from the US from a potential government shutdown. Though a bill to stop a move to prevent funding was passed by the House of Representatives the Democrats may still thwart it. Essential services would still go ahead in the event of a part-closure but this is a battle for authority as US midterm elections loom (November).
Overnight, oil weakened by more than -1% in part due to stronger US oil production figures; US output is expected to break the 10m barrels per day imminently (output had sunk to 9.49m barrels at the start of January). WTI is trading -1.14% lower at 63.16 while Brent crude is -0.87% down at 68.71.
The pound was edging closer to the $1.39 handle (1.3895) a little after 7am while sterling weakend -0.11% against the euro to 1.1339. This morning, watch for new UK retail sales data with probable weakend high street footfall but better online sales.
- UK FTSE 100 7,700.96 -0.32%
- DAX 13,281.43 +0.74%
- CAC 40 5,494.83 +0.02%
- Euro Stoxx 600 398.73 +0.19%
- Dow 26,017.81 -0.37%
- S&P 500 2,798.03 -0.16%
- Nasdaq 7,296.05 -0.03%
- Nikkei 225 23,808.06 +0.19%
- Gold 1,332.80 +0.41%
- Oil WTI 63.14 -1.27%
Carpetright hit by poor Christmas trading
Carpetright issued a new profits warning at 7am slashing profits guidance to £2m-£6m. “Trading in the important post-Christmas period has been significantly behind expectations,” it said. Total Group sales are down -2.3% for the 11 weeks to 13 January in part to “a sharp deterioration in UK trade” which has “a significant impact on profitability and our outlook for the reminder of the year”.
There was a like-for-like sales dip of -3.6% in the 11-week period, with falling flooring and bed sales. Core flooring like-for-like sales are down -7.1% since Christmas Carpetright admits.
"The severity of the decline in footfall over this key trading period and our more cautious view of the outlook for the balance of the year leads to a significant reduction in our full year expectations.” Carpetright shares at 158p are down almost -15% in the last six months.
HSBC fined $100m by US authorities on currency rigging probe
HSBC says it will pay more than $100m to settle rigged currency transaction accusations following an investigation by US authorities. HSBC says it will also improve its compliance controls.
The bank is now in a three-year deferred prosecution agreement (DPA). This means it has to work and co-operate fully with US enforcement authorities over the conduct of its employees.
HSBC recently emerged from a five-year DPA connected to money laundering with Mexican drug organisations, taking a $1.9bn fine.