Oil prices are on the move – more climbs – again with OPEC members meeting in Vienna on Thursday. Currently WTI oil is up +0.57% at $50.96.
It’s likely OPEC will agree to extend the 6-month agreement to cut oil production by 1.8m barrels a day and even, possibly, extend it.
Friday saw the FTSE 100 up +0.46% to 7,470.71 with strong support from Anglo American and Rio Tinto, up 2.44% and 2.13%. At 7am this morning the pound was trading at 1.2996, down -0.13% on the day while the euro was at 1.1185. Overnight trades saw the EUR/USD pair criss-cross the 1.12 handle.
A quiet day as far as domestic and international economic stats go; German GDP figures arrives tomorrow at 7am. Later this week – Wednesday – M&S reports full-year numbers with an update on its flailing womenswear business.
- UK FTSE 100 7,470.71 +0.46%
- Dow 20,804.84 +0.69%
- S&P 500 2,381.73 +0.68%
- Nasdaq 6,083.70 +0.47%
- DAX 12,638.69 +0.39%
- CAC 40 5,324.40 -0.66%
- Gold 1,253.20 -0.04%
- Oil WTI 50.74 +0.81%
'Fred the Shred' targeted
Today the high court takes on the £520m RBS rights issue case and the events up to RBS’ £45bn public bailout in 2008. The case is being backed by 9,000 investors, both public and City.
Originally RBS investors were offered 11 new shares for every 18 owned at 200p. The rights issue was the largest in UK City history at the time. Ex-boss Fred Goodwin testifies on 8 June (the day of the UK election). The total hearing will last 14 weeks.
The funding for the case is being part-backed by businessman Trevor Hemmings. RBS denies all liability, denying the original rights prospectus was misleading.
Ethical investing boost
News that ethical investment can pay off handsomely. One of the best performing funds last year was the Church of England with a 17.1% return from its £7.9bn investment fund.
Much of the CofE's fund is invested in global equities and is actively managed compared with a trend, increasingly, towards tracker-based allocations. Some of the portfolio is invested in hedge funds and private equity.
The fund's target remit is to keep pace with inflation plus five percentage points. Inevitably, the global stretch of the portfolio was boosted by sterling’s devaluation post-Brexit vote.
Russia relationship deepens
Lastly, Wood Group says it has secured a Technical Support Services (TSS) five-year contract with Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd (Wood Group already has a 10-year relationship with Sakhalin).
“This is an exciting and strategically important relationship for the future,” says Wood Group CEO Dave Stewart, “and one which underlines our ongoing commitment to Russian national content and development.”
Invesco European Growth Fund says Wood Group saw a strong 2016 but “there is no reason for bullish forecasts at this early juncture”. YTD its shares are down -11.5% at 775.20p.
Breaking news: the chief exec of the London Stock Exchange, Xavier Rolet, has warned that London trading costs could be hit if Brussels strips London of its euro-clearing operations.