London’s Big Board was up 0.59% higher on Wednesday at 7,385.24 edging closer to 7,400 helped by gains for oil players. Hargreaves Lansdown and ABF Foods were the main movers overall, up 2.70% and 2.38% to 1,466p and 2,877p. Last night the Dow closed at 20,943.11.
Sterling hit an intraday high of $1.2988 yesterday (currently 1.29435, up 3.23% over the month). Today, eyes down for the Bank of England’s policy update - inflation and interest rate decision. Watch also for new manufacturing and industrial production updates.
Over in the US, Snapchat has seen higher net losses, to $2.2bn compared to $104.6m; daily active users grew just 5%.
BT sheds jobs
Let's commence with BT and an announcement that CEO Gavin Patterson plus outgoing group finance director Tony Chanmugam will not receive a bonus over a grim year for BT, including the shock £530m Italian writedown.
“Our performance,” BT said, “has been significantly affected by the accounting irregularities in our Italian business, the issues that arose in Openreach around Deemed Consent and the significant challenges we faced in the UK public sector and international corporate markets.”
In the next two years BT says it’s taking the axe to up to 4,000 managerial and back-office roles as part of a move to slim its Global Services division. BT shares are 16% down YTD at 307.90p.
Price hikes for Mondi
Next, packaging player Mondi and a 6% slip in underlying profit for the first quarter to €252m. Underlying operating profit however climbed 12% on Q4 2016 thanks to higher sales and price inflation.