A South Korean court has sentenced Samsung vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong to five years in prison. A case that has gripped South Korea – Samsung is the country's biggest company and Jae-yong is the country's most influential businessman. More detail below.
Meanwhile central bankers Janet Yellen, US Fed, and Mario Draghi, European Central Bank, deliver set speeches later today on the economic and structural forces that shape global currency movements (background: a a significantly weakened dollar and a significantly strengthened euro). Prepare to be underwhelmed.
Though Draghi can switch tone last minute, most are not expecting drama. Watch though for nuance: does Mario Draghi think the euro’s strength is becoming a concern, particularly on tapering – QE, or cheap cash – and the inflation front?
Yellen is the only major central banker to have hiked rates. At 7am sterling was trading at $1.2812 while the euro was worth $1.1794. Overnight in Asia Japanese stocks lifted slightly, helped by core consumer inflation lifting in July by 0.5%. The highest level since spring 2015.
- UK FTSE 100 7,407.06 +0.33%
- Dow 21,783.40 -0.13%
- S&P 500 2,438.97 -0.21%
- Nasdaq 6,271.33 -0.11%
- Nikkei 225 19,463.40 +0.56%
- DAX 12,180.083 +0.05%
- CAC 40 5,113.13 -0.04%
- Gold 1,291.60 -0.02%
- Oil WTI 47.83 +0.82%
Samsung billionaire heir handed prison term
Over in South Korea Lee Jae-yong, Samsung’s vice chairman, has been found guilty by a court of embezzlement and bribery though it is not clear whether the Samsung exec will go to prison. His lawyer says he will appeal.
Lee Jae-yong, 49, was accused on multiple fronts: shifting and hiding assets overseas as well as embezzlement. The Samsung exec claimed that much of the payments had been signed off without his direct consent.
Samsung saw a record $9.9bn profit in its last quarter. It recently overtook Intel as the world's biggest chip manufacturer. There was also the successful roll-out of its latest Galaxy S8 flagship.
Computacenter revenues and profits tick up
A quiet reporting end to a tumultuous week – think numerous profit warnings, the most serious being from WP – with some new half-year numbers from FTSE 250 operator Computacenter.
Revenues climb 15% to £1,700.3m while adjusted pre-tax profit surges 65.6% to £41.9m. The dividend per share is up modestly to 7.4p.
The majority of the profit growth came from improved operational performance says boss Mike Norris “with some help from currency movements. We also benefitted from a comparison with what was a weaker trading performance in the first half of the prior year, whereas the comparison for the second half of 2017 is challenging."
Norris claims Computacenter is on track for a "record performance, and marginally ahead of the upgraded board expectation expressed at our Trading Update in April 2017".
Breaking news: Fiat Chrysler denies any 'movement' on a Great Wall bid. "Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV confirmed today that it has no further information to report in response to market rumors beyond its statement already issued on 21 August," it said in a statement.