The Nikkei’s -2% Wednesday fall saw a near reverse today. The Japanese index rebounded almost +1.45%, supported by strong performances from Asahi Kasei Corp and Tokyo Electron (+5.4% and +4.9% up). However the South Korean Kospi fell -0.53% and Taiwan’s Taiex slipped -0.37%. Some market defensiveness will still hang around before new US jobs numbers and Chinese trade data arrive tomorrow.
Overnight the pound drifted -0.12% lower against the dollar to 1.3375 having dipped to an 1.3363 low. The EU-UK word dance around “regulatory alignment” continues. Theresa May has to patch together an agreement on the Northern Ireland border acceptable to the 10 MP-strong DUP (though all sides need to show they’re negotiating down to the wire); further negotiations/disagreements into December may be allowed if no agreement is reached soon carrying corresponding market nervousness and uncertainty. For the moment, Michel Barnier is talking of a 48-hour cut-off.
Fundamentally markets and business want action, not words. No lack of action from Bitcoin: the crypto-currency was trading at more than $14,228 overnight. Meanwhile French trade balance figures turn up shortly with a eurozone GDP update at 10am. German industrial production figures for October are imminent and should show an uptick following September’s underwhelming figures.
- UK FTSE 100 7,348.03 +0.28%
- Dow 24,140.91 -0.16%
- S&P 500 2,629.27 -0.01%
- Nasdaq 6,776.38 +0.21%
- Nikkei 225 22,498.03 +1.45%
- DAX 12,998.85 -0.38%
- CAC 40 5,374.35 -0.02%
- Gold 1,261.60 -0.35%
- Oil WTI 55.97 +0.02%
Ladbrokes Coral and GVC re-start merger talks
This morning “detailed discussions” are taking place (again) between Ladbrokes Coral and GVC Holdings, owner of Bwin and Sportingbet. GVC is valuing Ladbrokes at £3.9bn. However there’s one (significant) canker: the price GVC pays would likely be linked to the outcome of the government’s Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals review, crucial for bookie profits. Currently limits are set to a maximum of £100 but the thresholds could drop to as low as £2.
“The enlarged group would be an online-led globally positioned betting and gaming business that would benefit from a multi-brand, multi-channel strategy,” said Ladbrokes in a statement this morning while also suggesting earnings per share could potentially double – according to GVC maths. Talkover discussions between the two companies began n the summer only to be abandoned.
DS Smith profits surge, Bitcoin's climb continues
Packaging titan DS Smith half-year results arrived at 7am with adjusted operating profit up +11% to £251m while revenues are up +19% to £2,800m. The packaging business also reports strong organic growth of +5.2%. It claims an “excellent” start from its US fibre-based business.