The euro saw its most robust day for nine months, both against the dollar and the yen. Against the pound the euro was close to a new seven-month high. Which all begs the question: how soon the euro will hit $1.1400? Earlier this morning the euro was at $1.1371, up more than 2.1% on the week.
Remarks from ECB boss Mario Draghi yesterday put forward a confident spin on the eurozone’s economic recovery chances and a hint of QE tapering off.
The EU mood music was in contrast to the glum verdict from the IMF on President Trump’s economic growth chances, slashing its US GDP forecast yesterday. The IMF predicts a growth rate of 2.1% for both 2017 and 2018 compared to previous estimates of 2.3% and 2.5%.
The Dow ended down almost 100 points last night at 21,310.66 with Verizon Communications and Microsoft seeing the biggest falls, slipping -1.99% and -1.87% respectively.
- UK FTSE 100 7,434.36 -0.17%
- Dow 21,310.66 -0.46%
- S&P 500 2,419.38 -0.81%
- Nasdaq 6,146.62 -1.61%
- Nikkei 225 20,161.39 -0.31%
- DAX 12,671.02 -0.78%
- CAC 40 5,258.58 -0.70%
- Gold 1,252.10 +0.42%
- Oil WTI 44.09 -0.34%
Bunzl buying spree continues
We start with a trading update from logistics player Bunzl. Group revenue for the half year is expected to rise 7% at constant exchange rates it says due to improved underlying growth of 3-4%, plus a similar impact from acquisitions.
“In addition,” Bunzl says, “currency translation movements are expected to have increased the constant exchange revenue growth by 12%.”
Bunzl has picked up eight businesses this year for a total £290m. “With an active acquisition pipeline and ongoing discussions taking place, the Company,” it says “expects to complete further acquisitions during the remainder of the year.” Bunzl's share price is almost 12% up in the last year to 2,309p.
Perth-based Stagecoach next and preliminary numbers for the full year. Adjusted earnings per share come in at 24.4 pence compared to 27.7 pence in 2016, in line with expectations. The dividend for the year creeps 4.4% higher to 11.9p (2016: 11.4p). Stagecoach’s share price at 203.70p is down more than 13% on the year.
Revenues are under pressure on rail: revenue growth in the franchised rail market remains low by historical standards Stagecoach admits but “growth rates in 2016/17 at our inter-city businesses out-performed those at our London commuter business.”
The company says long-term drivers for the business remain including more urbanisation, population growth, “and the growing demand for action on road congestion and air quality. We remain confident that we can continue to deliver long-term value to our customers and investors.”
Stagecoach remains a bidder to operate the HS2 high-speed railway link.
Several UK companies continue to report concern about the ransomware IT attack. Authorities have advised victims not to pay out. Currently most of the victims have been based in Eastern Europe and Russia.
So far the victim list includes WPP, food giant Mondelez, raw commodities and oil players Evraz and Rosneft plus transport operator Maersk. Also the legal firm DLA Piper. It’s thought the virus originated through a software update patch, linked to Ukrainian government use.
Breaking news: Facebook hits 2bn users – a quarter of the world’s population.