A lack of 'on message' consistency from the Bank of England yesterday: chief economist Andy Haldane came out in favour of a rate rise within 24 hours of Bank of England Governor Mark Carney playing down a hike.
The ‘comms’ issue gave sterling a boost to more than 1.2700 but it was short-lived; at one point the pound ducked under the $1.2600 mark yesterday. At 7.15am this morning sterling was at $1.2667.
The biggest FTSE 100 winner yesterday was Whitbread. Whitbread shares climbed 3.4% to 3,984p thanks to bullish Premier Inn sales and a 2.9% rise in like-for-like sales overall. Not bad for an uncertain trading backdrop.
However Provident Financial shares reversed into freefall, down almost 18% as a profits warning emerged – adjusted profits at its consumer credit arm would slip to £60m from £115m.
Today, the CBI Industrial Trends Survey is out at 11am; US home sales and crude oil inventories emerge mid afternoon.
- UK FTSE 100 7,447.79 -0.33%
- Dow 21,410.03 -0.27%
- S&P 500 2,435.61 -0.06%
- Nasdaq 6,233.95 +0.74%
- Nikkei 225 20,168.95 +0.15%
- DAX 12,774.26 -0.32%
- CAC 40 5,274.26 -0.37%
- Gold 1,255.20 -0.75%
- Oil WTI 42.47 -0.14%
Ultra Electronics steadies expectations
First off, an update from FTSE 250 Ultra Electronics. Group half-year trading performance is in line with expectations claims Ultra with the numbers more heavily tilted towards the second half of the year, helped also by the ‘Trump bump’.
“Our expectations for the full year remain unchanged. Full year cash conversion remains in-line with previous guidance. A delay in approving the US budget meant US orders were deferred to the end of the first half and second half of this year.
Despite the hold-up “there has been positive momentum in the order intake, with the book-to-bill ratio reaching a pleasing 1.1 times as at the end of May 2017,” the company said in a statement this morning.
Ultra shares are up 6.6% year-to-date and more than 23% up over 12 months.
Next, Imagination Technologies is up for grabs following a difficult dispute with Apple, Imagination’s biggest client. Imagination has made it clear that the whole group is for sale.
“The board of Imagination has therefore decided to initiate a formal sale process for the group and is engaged in preliminary discussions with potential bidders,” the BBC reported this morning.
Imagination's share price has fallen 43% year-to-date but has recovered 20% in the last five days.
More disquiet from Uber. Director Bill Gurley has reportedly quit though venture capitalist backer Gurley was instrumental in forcing Travis Kalanick to resign as chief exec of the company.
It’s thought Benchmark venture capitalist Matt Cohler, a colleague of Gurley’s, will take his place.
Breaking news: Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management's merger has been cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority.