More stock market anxiety from Asia overnight with the Nikkei slipping to a four-month low – 19,254 – at one point. The sell-off mirrored Wall Street last night when the Dow Jones ended Tuesday more than -1% down at 21,753. The Dow’s worst performance for nearly three weeks. The simmering tension is North Korean-US led following Pyongyang’s detonation nuclear bomb test on Sunday.
More market falls are pencilled in for this morning when London and Europe markets open. Markets meanwhile are also adjusting to a European Central Bank meeting tomorrow which may give more visibility on support for quantitative easing, or cheap borrowing. A much stronger euro though carries its own dangers which may delay ECB clarity till later in the autumn.
Overnight the euro was down -0.01% at $1.1921 while the pound was down -0.03% at $1.3038. German factory order numbers emerge shortly; US balance of trade and ISM non-manufacturing data arrives mid-afternoon.
- UK FTSE 100 7,372.92 -0.52%
- Dow 21,753.31 -1.07%
- S&P 500 2,457.85 -0.76%
- Nasdaq 6,375.57 -0.93%
- Nikkei 225 19,355.96 -0.15%
- DAX 12,123.71 +0.18%
- CAC 40 5,086.56 -0.34%
- Gold 1,344.20 -0.02%
- Oil WTI 48.60 -0.12%
Vectura revenues up
This morning there’s a string of trading updates from Berkeley (facing a shareholder rebellion today on exec pay) plus Barratt and retirement player McCarthy & Stone. To be covered in a separate report shortly.
Meantime pharma player Vectura Group claims stronger recurring revenues and underlying profitability though operating losses are up in the last six months. Revenues climb +6.6% to £78.8m while recurring revenues, Vectura claims, are up +26.1% to £71m. Operating losses however are up more than 70% from £24.1m to £41.3m.
Vectura claims multiple pipeline and partnering opportunities for the year – the basis “for a strong outlook for the remainder of the year”. However Vectura’s share price has had a rough passage in the last 12 months, down more than -13% and -20% year-to-date.
New contract for Amec Foster Wheeler; Ryanair slash fees
Amec Foster Wheeler says they’ve been awarded a $604m construction and procrurement contract for a US-based subsidiary of China's Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Company. Amec’s chief exec Jonathan Lewis says the win is a demonstration of its “presence in high-growth areas, such as the chemicals market, and contribute to the growth of our order book”.
Lastly, good news from Ryanair. It’s cutting baggage check-in fees from £35 to £25 for a 20kg bag. There’s also more leeway on carry-on bags. Changes commence 1 November.
Breaking news: A third profit warning from software operator Micro Focus – sales slipped -3% to $716m in the last quarter. Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell faces a shareholder revolt today on governance and profits concern. Nissan has launched a new Leaf model with a 150-mile range from its electric batteries.