Investor sentiment was strong and steady across Asia on Tuesday, for the most part, helped by a robust finish from Wall Street last night (the Dow was up +1.70%). The Hang Seng lifted +1.33% while the Shanghai Composite was up +0.87%; there was better positivity for Samsung in South Korea, up almost +4% thanks to strong interest from international investors.
Over in South Africa the – heavily traded – rand was lower in Asian trading despite the African National Congress ordering President Jacob Zuma to quit. Zuma continues to resist, pushing for a three-month extension and immunity from state prosecution. A no-confidence vote from his party and Parliament could be next. But a lack of exit momentum must drag on the rand.
Some unhappiness Stateside with President Trump’s infrastructure plans; Trump has unveiled a $200bn infrastructure project, an election promise. But some of the emerging detail appears to take funding out of existing government programs, critics say.
"After a full year of empty boasts, the president has finally unveiled a puny infrastructure scam that fully fails to meet the need in America's communities," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said. Overnight the pound was down -0.04% at 1.3844 against the dollar and -0.15% lower against the euro at 1.124. All eyes on UK inflation numbers, out at 9.30am – more below.
- UK FTSE 100 7,177.06 +1.19%
- DAX 12,282.77 +1.45%
- CAC 40 5,140.06 +1.20%
- Euro Stoxx 600 372.93 +1.17%
- Dow 24,601.27 +1.70%
- S&P 500 2,656.00 +1.39%
- Nasdaq 6,981.96 +1.56%
- Nikkei 225 21,244.68 -0.65%
- Gold 1,327.80 +0.11%
- Oil WTI 59.63 +0.57%
Profits set to climb +10% for TUI
Holiday giant TUI says bookings and revenues are strong for the first quarter. TUI anticipates that profits will come in +10% higher for the full year. Q1 turnover was up +9% to €3,581m. TUI claims the UK summer program is 41% sold – down -1% on last year – but with an average +3% price hike.
“Demand remains strong for the Western Mediterranean and Caribbean (despite hurricane disruption and reflecting demand from North America) and continues to improve for Turkey and North Africa.
TUI shares at 1,593p are up more than +37% in the last 12 months and are up +21% in the last quarter.
UK inflation likely to hold – numbers emerge 9.30am
UK inflation is expected to hold steady at 3%; the numbers arrive at 9.30am; Investec’s Victoria Clarke told the BBC earlier she thought new index weightings has the potential however to surprise.
"We are working on the assumption that the transport services category, air fares particularly, will apply some upward pressure to the 12-month inflation rate, with the month-to-month drop in prices likely to be less than in January last year," she said.
Other City watchers think UK inflation must edge back towards the 2% mark in the next 12-24 months – part-assuming sterling continues to recover, bringing down import costs – but a May Bank of England rate rise still looks highly likely. That decision, on the whole, is more titled towards wage growth numbers. Earnings continue to lag inflation though.
Breaking news: Pendragon profits slump -20% to £60.4m though there is a +4.5% rise in revenues to £4.7bn. Kering revenues climb +27.4% to €4.26bn in the last quarter helped by a strong sales surge from Gucci.