There was evidence of investor skittishness Stateside this morning. The S&P 500 was down -0.5% while the Dow Jones gave 100 points away in morning trading. Apple and Caterpillar were the biggest fallers, down -1.95% and -2.19%. There is some concern that Apple could cut iPhone X production. Coca Cola slipped -1.76% while Goldman Sachs was up +1.1%.
This afternoon EU ministers met to square their negotiation stance on the UK’s Brexit transition period, when the UK unmoors itself from the EU. However the stance will be given plenty of challenge from the UK. Both sides need to agree the exact terms by March. Currently the EU is saying there will be absolutely no cherry picking on the single market.
Critically, also, Michel Barnier says the UK will not be able to block any EU laws during the transition period. None of this was good news for sterling, down more than -0.70% to 1.4048 at a bit after 4pm. The pound was also -0.05% lower against the euro at 1.1377.
Tonight the FTSE 100 closed at 7,671.53, up six points with Glencore and Rio Tinto up +3.35% and +1.97%. Severn Trent saw a -2% slip to 1970.07p.
- UK FTSE 100 7,671.53 +0.08%
- DAX 13,320.54 -0.15%
- CAC 40 5,527.98 -0.03%
- Euro Stoxx 600 400.00 -0.15%
- Dow 26,554.82 -0.24%
- S&P 500 2,863.84 -0.31%
- Nasdaq 7,487.20 -0.25%
- Nikkei 225 23,629.34 -0.01%
- Gold 1,346.50 -0.79%
- Oil WTI 65.40 -1.12%
easyJet attempts to right pay unfairness with CEO pay cut
This morning easyJet surprised with a chunky pay cut for boss Johan Lundgren. The airline boss says his salary will match that of his predecessor Carolyn McCall in an attempt to improve the company’s stark gender pay differential.
EasyJet has around the third-biggest gender pay disparity of companies that have so far reported on the issue. Average male salaries push more than +50% ahead.
“Pilots are predominantly male and their higher salaries, relative to other employees, significantly increases the average male pay at easyJet. easyJet," it added in a statement, "is seeking to encourage more women to become pilots through its Amy Johnson Initiative.” This has set a target that 20% of new entrant pilots should be female by 2020.
Hot new partner for Dr Pepper Snapple
Soft drink maker Dr Pepper Snapple is to merge with coffee operator Keurig Green Mountain. The new company will be Keurig Dr Pepper which brings several blue-chip beverage drink brands – think Orangina and Schweppes – under the same roof.
Shareholders in Dr Pepper Snapple get a $103.75 per share, about +8% up on Dr Pepper Snapple’s share price at close of Friday. In total, the deal is worth around $21bn.
“Our view of the industry through the lens of consumer needs, versus traditional manufacturer-defined segments, unlocks the opportunity to combine hot and cold beverages,”, Keurig chief executive Bob Gamgort said in a statement.
Breaking news: Yields on US 10-year Treasury bonds have risen above 2.7%. "In our view, investors are still underestimating how much the Fed will raise interest rates given the likelihood of higher core inflation in the US in the coming months,” Oliver Jones at Capital Economics said, the FT reported.