Strong profits news from Rolls Royce earlier saw Rolls’ shares surge almost 10% to 978p. Half year revenues for the aerospace maker climbed 6% to £6.9bn with profits leaping to almost £290m compared to £104m. There was also better news emerging from Rolls’ Trent XWB engines development program.
UK exports were broadly given encouragement earlier following the publication of the Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, rising to 55.1 points in July compared to 54.2 in June. However with the pound hitting a fresh 10-month high against the dollar, some exporting headwinds lie in front.
Both European currencies, pound and euro, see-sawed through the day with the pound hitting $1.3245 at one point though at 4pm it was on the retreat ($1.3213). The euro was down -0.4% at 4pm at $1.1792 having hit $1.1845 earlier. Either way August commences with the US dollar witnessing its fifth straight month of losses.
- UK FTSE 100 7,423.66 +0.70%
- Dow 21,958.98 +0.31%
- S&P 500 2,473.49 +0.13%
- Nasdaq 6,356.33 +0.13%
- Nikkei 225 19,985.79 +0.30%
- DAX 12,447.25 -0.04%
- CAC 40 5,199.22 -0.32%
- Gold 1,278.70 +0.43%
- Oil WTI 49.54 -1.22%
Dow Jones nears 22,000; Apple ready to unveil iPhone 8?
US stocks continued to show a solid front with the Dow almost scraping 22,000 points. Earnings from Boeing – Boeing’s shares have surged more than 50% in the last year – Goldman Sachs and Chevron have all pushed the blue-chip index higher rather than optimism about Republican policy progress.
However, all-important earnings news emerges after trading tonight when Apple releases its third quarter numbers and, possibly, news of the iPhone 8, expected to be a heavy Christmas best-seller for Q4.
It’s thought Apple revenues will come in at around $44.50bn. Look for updates about Apple’s Chinese sales which are under pressure; also slowing iPad sales. Apple’s share price is currently a shade under $149.
AA boss Mackenzie 'let go'; Eurozone GDP growth outshines UK
Some of the business headlines this afternoon were taken up with the ejection of ex AA chairman Bob MacKenzie, sacked for 'gross miconduct' (though details are sparse). The news had a visceral impact on the AA's share price, plummeting more than 13% to 211.10p. MacKenzie will be replaced by non-exec chairman John Leach.
Shell is closing down operations temporarily of Europe’s biggest oil refinery, Pernis, based in Rotterdam, after a blaze over the weekend. Ordinarily Pernis produces more than 400,000 barrels of oil a day. It’s too soon to know if oil prices will rise because of the incident.
Lastly new eurozone growth data, (see below) suggests the euro economic area has grown at twice the pace as the UK. Eurostat claims GDP in the 19-country block expanded 0.6% in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the 0.3% from the UK.
The FTSE 100 closed 52 points higher tonight at 7,424.20 with Rolls-Royce Holdings the biggest riser, up 10.25% while Intertek Group saw a near 9% climb. There were strong rises too for Direct Line and IAG.