More investment Brexit concern over the weekend: chancellor Philip Hammond told the BBC that increasing numbers of businesses are steering clear of investing in the UK because of the lack of Brexit visibility.
"They are waiting for more clarity about what the future relationship with Europe will look like," he said; the Conservative cabinet looks increasingly leak-prone with rising in-fighting; a new round of EU-Brexit talks commences today.
Later this afternoon the final route of the new HS2 train route will be announced; the costs for the project have now been estimated at £100bn by one industry expert (Michael Byng) compared to £48bn from the government.
The pound was down -0.14% over the weekend to $1.3090 though on a weekly and monthly basis it’s up 1.69% and 2.5%. The euro was down -0.08% at +1.1462. The euro has performed strongly since late June but expect some flatlining while the ECB’s monetary policy meeting looms on Thursday. EU consumer price index numbers emerges at 10am.
- UK FTSE 100 7,378.39 -0.47%
- Dow 21,637.74 +0.39%
- S&P 500 2,459.27 +0.47%
- Nasdaq 6,312.47 +0.61%
- Nikkei 225 20,118.86 +0.09%
- DAX 12,631.72 -0.08%
- CAC 40 5,235.31 0.00%
- Gold 1,229.40 +0.15%
- Oil WTI 46.65 +0.26%
HS2 support for Carillion and Balfour Beatty
Some HS2 encouragment for beleagured construction operator, Carillion (whose share price has tumbled more than 75% year-to-date, currently 58.21p). Also for Skanska Construction, Costain, Kier Infrastructure and Balfour Beatty. Phase One, the Department for Transport claims, is “progressing well”.
Balfour Beatty says the two combined contracts it has won are worth £2.5bn. Specifically for Balfour it involves Lot N1, between the Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel to the Delta Junction/Birmingham Spur and the Delta Junction to the West Coast Main Line tie-in.
The main bulk of the construction work is scheduled to get under way in 2018/19, following a period of design work. The full list of contract awards is here.
Weir benefits from fracking and oil capacity concern
An update from Glasgow-based oil and gas engineering firm Weir Group including more rounded full year guidance. Upstream US markets have recovered more strongly than anticipated Weir said this morning, due to higher levels of fracking fleets and tightening industry capacity.
“Assuming supportive market conditions continue, the division is now expected to deliver low-teens operating margins through the second half with full year revenues and operating profits that are above the upper end of analysts' estimates,” Weir said.
Weir Group shares are down -3.7% year-to-date but up almost 17% over the last year (currently 1824p); Goldman Sachs issued a Buy rating on the stock on Friday.
Breaking news: easyJet boss Carolyn McCall is quitting the airline and moving to ITV. There's no successor at easyJet meanwhile. easyJet chairman John Barton says McCall's legacy is "sustained and continuing financial success which has been shared with shareholders with a more than trebling of easyJet's share price and the payment of £1.2 billion in dividends."
easyJet shares were trading at 1,408p before the announcement.