The pound smashed through the $1.30 barrier yesterday thanks to a helping hand from bullish UK retail sales, up 2.3%. There were strong gains for FTSE 100 players Burberry, up 4.69% and Centrica, up +3.88% while a 10% profit fall saw pubs operator Mitchells & Butlers shares slump more than 6.50% by end of trading.
This morning the euro was trading at 1.1110 against the dollar – the single currency could now end the week above the 1.10 handle – with sterling at 1.2952 against the greenback. Gold is at $1,250.01 (7am), down -0.14%.
There’s some evidence supporting the drift away from US equities to a more international focus: $1.2bn was pulled out in the full week up to Wednesday, according to new Reuters Lipper data.
CBI Industrial Trends data emerges at 11am.
- UK FTSE 100 7,436.42 -0.89%
- Dow 20,663.02 +0.27%
- S&P 500 2,365.72 +0.37%
- Nasdaq 6,011.24 -2.57%
- DAX 30 12,590.06 -0.33%
- CAC 40 5,289.73 -0.53%
- Gold 1,248.70 -0.33%
- Oil WTI 49.84 +0.99%
Hikma cuts full year revenues
Pharma giant Hikma says it expects full year group revenues to come in at $2-$2.1bn in constant currency for 2017 following its failure to snag US FDA approval for its generic asthma treatment. It’s unlikely the generic version of Advair, GSK’s asthma drug, will get approval this year.
Hikma predicts Generics revenues to be around $670m for the year. US investment bank Jefferies has snipped Hikma’s rating from Buy to Underperform; Jefferies believes the FDA delay could go until the second half of 2018. Hikma reported a 21% slip in full year operating profits in March.
“Through our focus on portfolio optimisation and continued cost savings, we expect to achieve a slight improvement in the profitability of the Generics business in 2017,” Hikma said this morning. Hikma shares at 1,709.20p are down 10.2% YTD and 5% down this week.
Grainger earnings climb
Moving next to property player Grainger, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord. For the six months to 31 March Grainger says adjusted earnings are up 39% while net rental income climbs 11%.
The 11% net rental income uplift was supported by acquisitions, rental growth and operational savings it claims. Like-for-like rental growth across its portfolio was 3.5% in the first six months. The interim dividend is upped 10% to 1.60p per share.
"We expect this momentum to continue now that we have,” said CEO Helen Gordon, “secured £439m of private rented sector investment, over half of our £850m target, and have good visibility on additional investment opportunities to meet our overall target."
Peppa & family update...more episodes
A brief pig update from…Peppa. The FTSE 250 owner of Peppa Pig, Entertainment One, says work has commenced on a new series, to be aired from Spring 2019.
The new production run will bring the total episode count to 381. There’s new global licensing partners including DTC in Brazil; Russian and Nordic progress is also cited.
“With a new series in the pipeline,” says Entertainment One’s CEO Darren Throop, “best-in-class partners and strong marketing and experiential initiatives in each territory, we continue to nurture the long term success of this global preschool phenomenon."
Breaking news... Moss Bros says business is up with sales ticking 3.7% higher for the first 15 weeks of the year. Also a profits warning from Revolution Bars Group. In Asia shares in Singapore Airlines have fallen sharply on new losses.