There was no stopping the positive Asian trading sentiment on Tuesday with the Hang Seng powering almost +1.50% up to near 31,800. China Mengniu Dairy Co and Want Want China Holdings saw +5% and +4.4% gains. The Japanese Nikkei saw a +1% improvement to more than 23,950. Fanuc Corp and Yaskawa Electric were both up almost +4.8%, helped by a slightly softer yen.
Elsewhere the fall-out – particularly for smaller suppliers – from Carillion’s collapse is well under way: "We've invoiced them for £240,000, going back to September last year. I don't think we'll get this money back,” one contrcactor told the BBC. "For us, it's a bad day, it'll impact us for the year. There are smaller contractors who will be impacted worse.” It’s thought up to 30,000 small firms could be badly hit.
A bit earlier this morning the pound was down -0.1% against the dollar at 1.3782 while the euro slipped -0.31% to 1.2231. Expect some EU ‘tough talk’ today as Brexit talks re-group around immigration and fishing rights, both issues being highly politically charged. UK CPI numbers – pound sensitive – emerge at 9.30am.
- UK FTSE 100 7,769.14 -0.12%
- DAX 13,200.51 -0.34%
- CAC 40 5,509.69 -0.13%
- Euro Stoxx 600 397.83 -0.17%
- Dow 25,803.19 +0.89%
- S&P 500 2,786.24 +0.67%
- Nasdaq 7,261.06 +0.68%
- Nikkei 225 23,951.81 +1.00%
- Gold 1,341.50 +0.49%
- Oil WTI 64.48 +0.26%
JD Sports positive on full-year profits
A rash of FTSE 250 trading updates this morning including JD Sports Fashion. Some profits optimism for JD: it expects pre-tax group profit for the year to come in at £300m compared to the £270-£295m range it advised previously.
Like-for-like sales are broadly decent bolstered by solid online growth, also supported by a strong Christmas. “The performance is particularly encouraging when considered against the challenging comparatives provided by the significant levels of sales increases achieved in each of the last three years,” claims the company.
JD Sports shares are trading at 365p, up almost +5.5% in the last week though are valued just +2.9% higher for the last 12 months.
Greggs sales lift on wider menu
A full year update from high street baker stalwart Greggs: total sales are up +7.4% – lifted by an updated menu including lattes and foccacia-style pizza – with company-managed shop like-for-like sales growth up +3.7%. Fourth quarter like-for-like sales climb +3%.
Last year Berenberg claimed Greggs had enough capacity to open a further 500 outlets to compete with Subway and Costa, both looking at 2,500-3,000 stores by 2020. Greggs has around 1,800 outlets at the moment. At 1,305p Greggs shares are down more than -4% in the last week but more than +33% up for the year.
“2018,” said Greggs in a statement, "will be a record year for investment in our supply chain as we install many of the centralised manufacturing platforms that will provide the capacity for further growth of the business."
Breaking news: John Laing Infrastructure Fund says Carillion’s collapse should not have an impact on its business despite Laing being involved with several Carillion public private partnerships.