The FTSE 100 closed down 0.3% on Friday, but it continued to
outperform most global markets. "The energy sector is helping to
keep the FTSE 100 afloat, helped by another two-month high for
Brent crude prices, which is keeping a floor under BP and Royal
Dutch Shell," Michael Hewson from CMC Markets said. However, this
wasn't enough to offset losses by companies such as Royal Mail,
whose shares plummeted 5.6% after being placed on negative catalyst
watch by JPMorgan Chase; or retailer B&M, which fell 5.3% as
one of its shareholders sold a 4% stake in the company. Miners
underperformed too, with Antofagasta down 3.9% and Polymetal
Cornerstone FS Sees 2021 Revenue Increase Boosted by New Asia
Cornerstone FS PLC said Friday that it expects to report
increased revenue for 2021, boosted by its new Asia team.
Good Energy Urges Shareholders to Vote Down Resolutions Called
Good Energy Group PLC said Friday that it urges shareholders to
vote against resolutions removing Chairman William Whitehorn, and
to direct the board not to dispose of the company's generation
approval in a meeting in February.
Currys Lowers FY Guidance, Says Christmas Performance Was
Challenging -- Update
Currys PLC said Friday that its performance during its peak
Christmas period was hurt by lower demand, and that it has
downgraded its guidance on its adjusted pretax profit for the
Cornerstone FS Concludes Convertible Loan Note Negotiation
Cornerstone FS PLC said Friday that it has concluded
negotiations to amend the terms of its convertible loan note.
Secure Trust Bank New-Business Lending Reached Record in 4Q
Secure Trust Bank PLC said Friday that total new-business
lending rose significantly in the fourth quarter, reaching a record
for the lender.
Foxtons Sells Douglas & Gordon Sales Business, Integrates
Foxtons Group PLC said Friday that it has sold its Douglas &
Gordon Ltd. sales business for a nominal consideration to D&G's
Chief Executive James Evans, and integrated its lettings business
into its network.
Bellway Names Former Redrow Chief John Tutte as Incoming
Bellway PLC said Friday that former Redrow PLC Chief Executive
and Executive Chairman John Tutte will join the company as its
designated nonexecutive chairman on March 1.
Stock Futures Edge Up Ahead of Bank Earnings -- WSJ
U.S. stock futures edged up ahead of earnings reports from major
banks that could offer insight into the impact of the Omicron
variant on the economy.
Global Petroleum Shares Rise on Favorable European Court
Global Petroleum Ltd. shares rose on Friday after it said the
European Court found that its four permit applications offshore
Italy didn't contravene European Union law.
Sensyne Health Shares Fall on Financing Agreement to Continue
Shares in Sensyne Health PLC fell on Friday after it said that
it has signed a financing agreement for 6.4 million pounds ($8.8
million) with institutional shareholders as without financing it is
unlikely to continue trading beyond early February.
Castillo Copper Drops Plans to Buy Additional Lithium Assets
Castillo Copper Ltd. said Friday that its board has decided to
focus on developing the BHA's Project East Zone and drop plans to
acquire the Litchfield and Picasso lithium assets in Australia.
Minds + Machines to Return GBP19 Mln to Holders via Tender
Offer; Shares Rise
Shares of Minds + Machines Group Ltd. rose as much as 19% on
Friday after the company said it plans to return up to 19 million
pounds ($26 million) to shareholders via a tender offer.
Simigon Agrees on $8.5 Mln Merger With New U.S. Company; Shares
Shares of Simigon Ltd. rose 35% on Friday after the company said
that it has agreed to merge with Power Breezer Sub Ltd. and Maxify
Solutions Inc. in a deal that values the company at $8.5
Echo Energy to Buy 70% Stake in Chilean Solar Energy Project
Echo Energy PLC said Friday that it has entered into an option
agreement to purchase a 70% interest in a 3 megawatt solar project
in Chile, and that it has raised 660,000 pounds ($904,464) which it
will use toward the project and as working capital.
Likewise Group PLC Completion of Acquisition and Trading
Copper Shares Remain Undervalued, Jefferies Says
1221 GMT - The market continues to underappreciate the likely
upside to the copper price and its potential impact on copper
mining shares, as many investors are mostly focused on near-term
market dynamics rather than longer-term fundamentals, Jefferies
says. The U.S. bank estimates that the copper mining equities in
its coverage are pricing in an average copper price of $4.41 per
pound, below the current spot price of $4.52. And Jefferies expects
the market to tighten, with prices averaging at least $5.50 in
2022-2025. "We reiterate our Buy ratings on Freeport[-McMoRan],
Glencore, First Quantum, and Antofagasta."
SSE to Pivot Towards International Expansion in 2022
1204 GMT - 2022 will mark a year when SSE shifts from a premier
domestic offshore wind developer in the U.K. to an internationally
focused company with broadening global footprint, RBC Capital
Markets says. The energy group has announced plans to enter tender
bids for offshore wind projects in the Netherlands. "These plans
are embedded within SSE's growth targets, and if successful the
Dutch auction would form part of SSE's growth plans for net
installed capacity to double through 2026, reaching 8GW," RBC says.
Still, the bank warns that competition will remain high from all
major industry participants in upcoming renewable infrastructure
UBS Cuts Forecasts For Euro Versus Pound
1129 GMT - UBS Global Wealth Management cuts its forecasts for
the euro-sterling exchange rate as it expects the Bank of England
to raise interest rates further this year while the European
Central Bank maintains its negative rates policy. "We are lowering
our EUR/GBP forecasts to 0.82 for end-March; 0.81 for end-June and
end-September; and 0.81 for end-December (from 0.84, 0.83, and
0.82, respectively)," UBS analysts say. EUR/GBP last trades at
0.8346. The market expects 100 basis points of BOE rate rises this
year compared to 10bp for the ECB, the analysts say. The ECB is
more likely to miss those expectations than the BOE, they say.
Experian's Growing Trend Is Expected to Continue
1053 GMT - Experian's strong 3Q performance is set to continue
into 2023 as the group enjoys a strategic position in the
data-economy-driven sector, Shore Capital says. The U.K. investment
group expects a strong and continued organic trend across the core
North America business, while U.K. metrics will become Experian's
focus of improvement. Shore Capital keeps a buy recommendation on
the stock. Shares are down 1.4% at 3,109 pence.
UK's Strong GDP Expansion Unlikely to Last
1042 GMT - The 0.9% on-month growth for U.K.'s economy in
November signals that private demand remained strong before
Omicron, but the data aren't likely to be indicative of a trend
improvement in the outlook, Citi economist Benjamin Nabarro says.
Seasonality likely played a notable role in November data, with
earlier Christmas shopping boosting transport and warehouse
services in particular, he says. "We continue to see significant
challenges as we move into 1H 2022," Nabarro says. Economic
activity is likely to face further pressures associated with the
cost of living crunch, and while accumulated savings and further
post-pandemic normalization may prevent an outright contraction,
momentum is expected to be subdued, he says.
Ferguson's Capital Markets Day Reassured on Many Fronts,
1040 GMT - Ferguson's capital markets day served as a useful
reminder of the company's strong market positions and business
model, Jefferies says. The U.K.-based distributor of
plumbing-and-heating products' newly released midterm expectations
were particularly reassuring as they suggest scope for a step up in
market outperformance and continued margin expansion from 2021's
high base, the U.S. bank says. "While top line growth is seen to be
the clearest driver of margin expansion, management also flagged
the gradual benefits of selling more own brand products--currently
c.9% of sales, but generating double the gross margin of other
products--and productivity initiatives," Jefferies says, retaining
its buy rating on the stock with a 15,212 pence price target.
Shares are up 0.2% at 12,830 pence.
UK GDP Data Seen Supporting Rate-Rise Bets But Pound Little
0957 GMT - Sterling reacted modestly to stronger-than-expected
U.K economic growth data as traders are focused on other matters
such as bond market dynamics, Monex Europe says. However, the
figures will act as the "first confirmation point" before next
week's data deluge to allow the Bank of England to raise interest
rates again in February, Monex currency analyst Simon Harvey says.
"The probability of a Feb rate hike from the BOE has held around
the 80% level for months now, while we expect data next week to
push this higher along with front-end Gilt yield." The economy grew
0.9% month-on-month in November, versus the 0.5% expected by
analysts in a WSJ survey. GBP/USD rises 0.2% to 1.3740 and EUR/GBP
falls 0.1% to 0.8347.
Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; Write to Sarka
Halas at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 14, 2022 12:07 ET (17:07 GMT)
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