The IMF says both US and UK economies will grow slower than previously expected. Specifically, the IMF has knocked the UK’s growth back from 2% to 1.7% for 2017 while the US will grow at 2.1% compared to the IMF’s previous 2.3% estimate.
The news has not unsettled currencies so far with sterling up 0.12% on the day at $1.3018 while the euro was -0.06% down at $1.1673 at 7am. However at the edges more dispiriting data – for the UK, at least – lurks.
IHS Markit claims UK household finances saw its sharpest downturn since July 2014 with appetite for spending on major purchases at their lowest level since July 2014. “Subdued pay growth and greater living costs contributed to upward pressures on household debt and a further rise in demand for unsecured borrowing in July,” the survey claims. US existing home sales data arrives at 3pm.
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Ryanair profits climb
We start with strong profits news from Ryanair. Pre-tax earnings came in at €397m, up 55%, compared to the first three months of 2016. Ryanair claims it will see fares slip 5% in the six months to September.
“After a difficult winter last year, we expect the pricing environment to remain very competitive into H2 [second half] where we will grow traffic by approx 7%.” The average fare is up 1% to €40.30.
Dettol maker confirms cyber attack impact
Next, the maker of Dettol and Durex claims sales for the three months to end of June climbed 3% at constant currency levels to £2.47bn. However Reckitt Bencikiser confirmed that the cyber attack it underwent in June hit like-for-like sales by 2%. Reckitt has upped its dividend to 66.6p per share (2016: 58.2p), an increase of 14%.
“From an operational perspective, as expected we had a tough first half, with challenging conditions exacerbated by a sophisticated cyber-attack. Notwithstanding this, the business remains strong and our earnings model intact.” Reckitt Benckiser recently sold its food business to McCormick & Co for $4.2bn.
Finally, food producer Cranswick, a major pork exporter to China, says revenue for the first three months of 2017 was 27% up on the same period last year. Like-for-like revenues are up 21%. "Rising input costs were partially mitigated during the period," it added.
"With experienced management at all levels of the group, a strong range of products, a well-invested asset base and a robust financial position, the Board is confident in both the outlook for the current financial year, which remains unchanged," Cranwick says.
Cranswick's share price is up 21% in the last year (to 2,829p) and 10% up in the last quarter.
Breaking news: Uber south east Asian rival Grab has raised almost £2bn helped by the backing of Didi Chuxing. Japan's Softbank is also investing heavily in the investment round.