Much attention today on oil as the key Vienna OPEC meeting looms though some European markets are closed for Ascension Day. It’s likely oil production cuts – 1.2m barrels per day – for a further nine months will be agreed.
However new mutterings from Goldman Sachs suggest the risk of a new surplus following the production cut in 2018, factoring in on-going US shale impact.
The FTSE 100 ended almost 30 points higher on Wednesday at 7,514.90 with travel players easyJet and TUI seeing 3.31% and 2.80% gains. Kingfisher shares though slumped more than 7% on like-for-like sales worries from its French division, plus the impact of overhauling its IT and online presence.
The pound is at 1.2983 against the dollar this morning with the euro at 1.1232, closing in on 1.1250 levels. Watch for US jobs data out at 1.30pm plus UK index of services at 9.30am.
- UK FTSE 100 7,514.90 +0.40%
- Dow 21,012.42 +0.36%
- S&P 500 2,404.39 +0.25%
- Nasdaq 6,163.02 +0.40%
- DAX 12,642.87 -0.13%
- CAC 40 5,341.34 -0.12%
- Gold 1,261.90 +0.43%
- Oil WTI 51.73 +0.74%
We start with full-year results from sugar player Tate & Lyle with pre-tax profits climbing 20% to £271m with increased margins in both business divisions.
Speciality Food Ingredients performed well delivering profit growth and margin expansion claims Tate & Lyle with good overall group cash generation. The dividend though stays flat at 28p.
“This has been a very encouraging year that reflects the steps we have taken, and continue to take, to build a stronger business with higher quality earnings,” says CEO Javed Ahmed. Tate's share price is up 11% this year so far to 787.23p.
QinetiQ revenues accelerate
We move onto defence operator QinetiQ Group. Underlying revenues for 2017 climb to £783.1m compared to £755.7m while operating profit is upped to £116.3m from £108.9m.
Earnings per share surge to 18.1p from 16.3p. The total dividend per share climbs to 6.0p from 5.7p – a 5% rise. QinetiQ’s share price is up 17.5% YTD at 309.17p; JPMorgan reaffirmed their neutral tack on the stock yesterday.
“Operational achievements,” says chief exec Steve Wadey, “included delivering organic revenue growth for the first time for a number of years and the near doubling of the total Group backlog."
Asian markets up
Overnight Asian markets climbed with the Nikkei 225 up 0.4%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong and Shanghai composite also saw gains, up 0.45% and 0.62%. The Kospi also surged, up 1%, following the Bank of Korea’s move to keep rates at 1.25%.
Detail from the US Fed’s 2-3 May meeting indicated more likelihood of a June rate rise with the dollar surprisingly weakening slightly on the news yesterday.
But significant concern remains about the longer-term policy success of the Trump administration, including deep spending cuts that so far have little detail attached to them.
Breaking news: Halfords have been hit by sterling's fall with annual pre-tax profits cut 11% to £71.4m. Revenues though are upped 7%.