Level 2

Weekly review

By Duncan Ferris

Date: Friday 19 Jul 2019

(Sharecast News) - London's FTSE 100 index finished the week 2.73 points higher at 7,508.70.
Equity view

US banking group Citi reported second-quarter earnings ahead of analyst expectations on Monday, despite a fall in investment banking revenues.

PSA Group saw sales stall in the first half of the year, after demand faltered in China and the French company was forced to pull out of Iran.

Sports Direct said it was delaying the publication of its preliminary results as it pointed to the "complexities" of integrating House of Fraser and warned that the guidance given back in December could be "materially" affected.

Antofagasta said its Tethyan Copper joint venture with Barrick Gold had been awarded $5.84bn in damages by the World Bank's arbitration court after the Pakistan government denied a mining lease for the Reko Diq project in 2011.

Philip Green's plan to rescue his troubled Arcadia Group from administration is facing a challenge from US property company Vornado, according to court papers filed in the UK.

Education publisher Pearson said on Tuesday that all future releases of its 1,500 active US titles will be published in digital format before being printed, as it focuses on lowering the cost of higher education.

The Competition and Markets Authority said that it will investigate Inmarsat's takeover by a consortium led by private equity firms Apax and Warburg Pincus.

Rio Tinto said costs at its Oyu Tolgoi underground copper mine in Mongolia would blow out by up to $1.9bn with a delay of up to 30 months.

Building materials group CRH has reached agreement to divest of its Europe distribution business to private equity funds managed by Blackstone for an enterprise value of €1.64bn (£1.48bn), payable in cash.

BT has agreed to sell its global headquarters, BT Centre, to a fund managed by European private equity firm Orion Capital Managers for £209.55m.

Fresnillo said it was cutting 2019 production targets, blaming lower-than-expected grades of ore grades and delays in construction work at the Herradura gold mine in Mexico.

TalkTalk posted a rise in first-quarter revenue thanks to strong demand for fibre products, as it backed its full-year guidance.

Sports betting and gambling company GVC Holdings said it saw continued "very strong" growth in online in the second quarter, with net gaming revenue ahead 16%, or 17% at constant currencies, despite the comparative period including part of the Football World Cup.

FTSE 250 outsourcer Capita signed a £525m fire and rescue service contract with the Ministry of Defence.

Pub company EI Group saw its shares rocket on Thursday as it agreed to be bought by Slug & Lettuce owner Stonegate for £1.3bn.

The European Commission fined US chipmaker Qualcomm €242m for abusing its market dominance in 3G baseband chipsets and selling below cost in order to force competitors out of the market.

The European Union approved Vodafone's €18bn bid for Liberty Global's cable networks in Germany and central Europe.

German software company SAP was under pressure on Thursday as its second-quarter operating profit missed analysts' expectations.

PepsiCo has agreed to buy South Africa's Pioneer Foods Group for $1.7bn.

ITV and the BBC have agreed to launch the 'BritBox' streaming service in the UK in the fourth quarter of the year, it was revealed on Friday.

Acacia Mining has agreed to be bought by Barrick Gold in a deal that values the UK gold miner at about £951m and concludes two months of fractious talks between the companies.

Economic news

The mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing, whose work helped shorten the Second World War, is to be the new face of the £50 note.

The UK government must have a strategy in place to deal with the industrial changes that will follow-on from automation and the emerging green economy, said the TUC on Monday.

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan rejected plans to build a 300-metre skyscraper in the City of London that had been dubbed 'the Tulip' for not being "good enough".

The pound took a hammering on Tuesday, falling to fresh lows against the dollar and euro on renewed fears that the UK will crash out of the European Union without a deal this autumn.

House prices fell sharply in London to a near-10 year low in May, as Brexit jitters weighed on the capital's housing market.

Households in the UK have seen their incomes squeezed more in recent years than during the 1990s recession, reported the Resolution Foundation on Wednesday.

UK retail sales picked up in June, according to data released by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday.

Sadiq Khan is set to demand an overhaul of tenancy laws in a bid to control the capital's rental market as part of his 2020 re-election campaign.

Government borrowing rose unexpectedly sharply to £7. 2bn in June - the highest level for that month in four years, official figures showed.

International events

Foreign ministers from France, Germany and the UK were meeting in Brussels on Monday in an attempt to save the Iran nuclear deal.

Donald Trump has allegedly told aides and close allies that he was contemplating removing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross after he backed down from adding a contentious question on citizenship to the 2020 census, according to NBC News.

Chinese economic growth eased to its weakest pace in 27 years in the second quarter, according to data released by the country's statistics bureau on Monday.

A top International Monetary Fund official warned central banks that they should stand ready to help should economic growth slow even more rapidly.

The eurozone's trade surplus with the rest of the world widened in May, official data published on Tuesday showed.

The World Trade Organization said some US tariffs on Chinese goods do not comply with its rules and that it will authorise retaliatory sanctions.

Trade talks between Washington and Beijing have reportedly hit a snag amid Chinese demands for the US administration to ease its restrictions on Huawei, the country's largest telecommunications equipment maker.

Consumer sentiment in the US picked up a touch in July, according to a preliminary reading from the University of Michigan.


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