Helped by a weaker yen and a lack of fresh North Korean threats to worry about the Japanese Nikkei 225 bounced back on Monday, rising close to +1.4%. The rejuvenated Japanese sentiment was particularly strong from Sony, up close to +4% at one point.
This helped the dollar make gains following last week's near three year lows (the greenback was up +0.11% against the yen buying 108.36 though that is still way down from the near 111 levels seen at the start of August), not to mention a relaxing on the gold price, down almost -0.70%. At close to 7am the euro was -0.01% lower at $1.2014 while the pound was trading at $1.3177, down -0.09%.
Meanwhile insurance soundings are emerging as Hurricane Irma batters Florida’s west coast: Hiscox boss Bronek Masojada told the BBC this morning the insurance industry is likely to see up to $75bn worth of claims, not including expenses from Hurricane Harvey.
A quiet day for key economic data though a rash of UK CPI data arrives Tuesday, 9.30am.
- UK FTSE 100 7,377.60 -0.26%
- Dow 21,797.79 +0.06%
- S&P 500 2,461.43 -0.15%
- Nasdaq 6,360.19 -0.59%
- Nikkei 225 19,356.66 +1.36%
- DAX 12,303.98 +0.06%
- CAC 40 5,113.49 -0.02%
- Gold 1,341.90 -0.69%
- Oil WTI 47.90 +0.88%
Primark owner profits surge
First a positive pre-close update from Primark owner Associated British Foods: adjusted operating profit should be well ahead of last year helped by an uptick in like-for-like sales and some post-Brexit currency gusts.
Ingredients’ revenues are ahead of last year while Primark sales are “expected to be +13% ahead of last year at constant currency and on a comparable week basis, driven by increased retail selling space and +1% growth in like-for-like sales”.
However a first half operating profit margin of 10% dipped from 11.7% in the first half last year, reflecting the strength of the US dollar on input costs Primark said. ABF shares are up +19% year-to-date though up +3.5% on the full year.
John Laing NAV value up
Interim six month numbers meanwhile from John Laing Infrastructure Fund which invests in a myriad range of assets such as hospitals, social housing and schools. For the six months to 30 June its NAV value climbs to £1,204.4m, up +11.5%.
While profit before tax slips to £34.7m compared to £72.3m this time last year the total shareholder return climbs +6.2%. There’s a +2% climb to the dividend to 3.48p. "I am pleased to report on a period of solid financial performance…we remain positive about the outlook for the company,” chairman Paul Lester said.
Breaking news: Support services player Carillion says its finance boss Zafar Khan has departed. Emma Mercer, ex finance director, has taken Mr Khan's place the company says. Carillion shares have plummeted more than -80% in the last year.