Stock markets across Europe and on Wall Street accelerated strongly, for the most part, back from the red today after a wild, wild 48 hours. The Euro Stoxx 600 saw a +1.9% gain while the Dax surged more than +1.5%. Shortly before 3.45pm the FTSE 100 was up almost +1.9% higher with strong rises for banking players like Old Mutual and Prudential. Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust lifted +6%.
The export-reliant FTSE 100 manfully ignored a new economic modelling report claiming British exports could be slashed by up to a third in a possible post-Brexit future with food and textile makers highly exposed.
Export news was also revived with news that Nissan and several other Japanese companies will meet the PM and Philip Hammond tomorrow to discuss their UK investment position and surely push for more Brexit clarity.
But the pound slipped further into the red this afternoon, down -0.32% at 1.3912 against the dollar but climbed +0.28% against the euro to 1.1303. Closing for business tonight the FTSE 100 was up almost shy of +2% at 7,297.
- UK FTSE 100 7279.63 +1.94%
- DAX 12,583.22 +1.54%
- CAC 40 5,244.61 +1.60%
- Euro Stoxx 600 379.78 +1.88%
- Dow 25,080.99 +0.68%
- S&P 500 2,708.29 +0.49%
- Nasdaq 7,116.27 +0.01%
- Nikkei 225 21,645.37 +0.16%
- Gold 1,325.50 -0.30%
- Oil WTI 63.67 +0.44%
GSK profits climb but generic Advair worries rise
Earlier GlaxoSmithKline announced a doubling of net profits to £2.2bn while revenues surged +8% to more than £30bn. There was solid sales growth across all areas – pharma, consumer and vaccines.
New GSK boss Emma Walmsley said she anticipated fresh sales momentum from new launches. Improvements in operating performance meant she was “increasingly confident in our ability to deliver mid to high single digit growth in adjusted earning per share”.
But there is a cloud over its asthma inhaler Advair which has to face down the threat of generic competition from Europe and the US. Walmsley was able to confirm an 80p dividend for 2018 though there was little guidance beyond this. With profits already booked there was little investor excitement; GSK shares were down almost -3% at 4.15pm.
Toys R Us troubles return
This afternoon Sky reported that Toys R Us was attempting to find bids for its UK arm as fears, once again, gather around the future of its 3,000 workers.
“Sky News has learnt that advisers to the company's US parent have met prospective bidders in the last 48 hours and told them to submit expressions of interest by the end of Thursday.”
Sky also says the entire European operations – more than 230 stores – are also on the block. However the UK arm, with huge cash call pressure on it, appears the most vulnerable. Toys R Us UK is already in the process of shedding 800 jobs through a Company Voluntary Arrangement.
Breaking news: The Pensions Regulator has prosecuted an employer for failing to comply with auto-enrolment. Stotts Tours were fined £27,000 at Brighton Magistrates Court. "As today’s successful prosecution shows, in the long run such an approach [avoiding auto-enrolment] is likely to be a false economy," Tom McPhail from Hargreaves Lansdown said.