The Office for National Statistics will reveal at 9.30am whether CPI inflation rose further, up from +3%, in October. It’s thought inflation will come in at +3.1% driven by rising energy and food prices (for example, British Gas hiked its standard tariff by more than +12% in mid September).
Earlier this morning boss of Retail Economics, Richard Lim, told BBC Radio 5 he thought UK inflation had already peaked and would head back towards the Bank of England’s 2% target by mid 2018.
Overnight the pound fell further, down -0.13% against the dollar to $1.1301. Sterling fell by the same amount against the euro to 1.1231. The pound’s fragility continues to be driven by anxiety about the strength of Theresa May’s leadership and the lack of hard, technical detail emerging from Brexit negotiations. While there remains huge unhappiness with May, there is also no clear political alternative.
Overnight Asian stocks slipped further with the Australian S&P/ASX 200 slumping close to -1% following some profit-taking. The Shanghai Composite was down more than -0.50% at 29,162.13. Both gold and oil are down modestly at -0.17% and -0.37% (as of 7.15am).
- UK FTSE 100 7,415.18 -0.24%
- Dow 23,422 -0.17%
- S&P 500 2,582.84 -0.09%
- Nasdaq 6,757.60 +0.10%
- Nikkei 225 22,380.01 0.00%
- DAX 13,074.42 -0.40%
- CAC 40 5,341.63 -0.73%
- Gold 1,275.60 -0.19%
- Oil WTI 56.61 -0.29%
Tesco primed to grab Booker; ITV revenues down
The most significant news this morning is that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally approved Tesco’s takeover of wholesaler Booker for £3.7bn. The provisional verdict will not go down well with other wholesalers who argued that a deal would result in less choice and higher prices for independent retailers and consumers.
However the CMA's Simon Polito did not agree: "Our investigation has found that existing competition is sufficiently strong in both the wholesale and retail grocery sectors to ensure that the merger between Tesco and Booker will not lead to higher prices or a reduced service for supermarket and convenience shoppers."
In a statement at 7am Tesco said the deal has been about growth "and will bring benefits for independent retailers, caterers, small businesses, suppliers, consumers, and colleagues.” Tesco's share price is down more than -10% in the last 12 months at 176.73p.
Next, ITV says for the nine months to 30 September external revenues dipped -1% to £2,132m while total ITV Studios revenues climbed +9% to £1,009m. Broadcast & Online revenues slip -4% to £1,470m.
ITV claims its seeing a return to TV advertising from some of the FMCGs and grocers, “although wider corporate confidence in the UK continues to be impacted by political and economic uncertainty.”
It adds: “We will enter 2018 in good shape with a strong operating performance underpinned by a robust balance sheet.” ITV’s share price is down almost -9% in the last 12 months at 153.73p.
Vodafone bullish on profits
Meanwhile Vodafone has boosted its profit forecast saying profits should climb +10% higher this year, more than double than previously estimated. Earlier this morning Vodafone said half-year group revenues dipped -4.1% to €23.1bn due to currency fluctuations though operating profit surged +32.5% to €2bn.
“Revenue grew organically in the majority of our markets driven by mobile data…enterprise revenues continue to grow, led by our Internet of Things ('IoT'), Cloud and Fixed services, and for the second year running we achieved an absolute reduction in our operating costs.”