FTSE 100 closed down 0.14% amid Asian tensions

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.14% on Monday amid rising tensions in Asia, with media suggesting that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should visit Taiwan in defiance of warnings from the China. Melrose Industries was the biggest drop in the index, down 5.5%, followed by Anglo American and Intertek Group, which closed down 4% and 3.3%, respectively. On the positive side, Pearson was the biggest gainer of the session, up 13% on stronger than expected first-half sales and profits, followed by HSBC, up 6.1% after resisting calls to the spin-off of its Asian activities.

Companies News: 

Ncondezi Energy loan restructuring progress; Trustees contribute funds

Ncondezi Energy Ltd. said on Monday that the finalization of the restructuring of a term loan into a loan note is expected in the coming weeks, and two administrators will provide additional financing to accelerate the development of the solar project.

Hutchmed (China) H1 pre-tax loss increased after cost hike

Hutchmed (China) Ltd. said Monday its first-half pretax loss widened after higher spending.

XP Power moved to a 1H pretax loss on logistical and inflationary pressures; Fall in stocks

XP Power Ltd. reported a return to pre-tax loss in the first half of 2022 due to supply chain disruptions and the inflationary backdrop, but maintained its dividend payout.

NatWest Mulling bid for wealth management firm Quilter, This Is Money Reports

NatWest Group PLC is considering an offer for wealth management firm Quilter PLC, This is Money reports, citing unnamed sources.

Puma VCT 13 to raise up to £50m in subscription offering

Puma VCT 13 PLC announced on Monday its intention to raise funds via a new subscription offering in August.

Market Talk: 

BP could increase its buyout plans to 1H

11:32 a.m. ET — BP may increase share buybacks in the oil major’s second-quarter and first-half results Tuesday, Aug. 2, according to RBC Capital Markets. RBC’s forecast assumes an 8% increase in dividend per share alongside a planned $3 billion buyback for Q3, up from the $2.5 billion announced alongside Q1 results. “With Shell having decided to leave its dividend unchanged this quarter, we wonder whether BP might choose to simply accelerate the buyback program,” RBC analyst Biraj Borkhataria said in a note. “However, we believe that the shareholder return framework announced by BP in 2020 was not designed for the current extremely strong macroeconomic environment and BP is already approaching the high end of what it can do on the front end. of the buyout, leaving questions about dividend growth open.” ([email protected])

Fresnillo investors look set to watch 1H costs

1531 GMT – Fresnillo’s costs should be of particular interest to investors in the Mexican precious metals miner’s first-half results tomorrow, according to Citigroup. In Q2 production figures last week, Fresnillo reported better-than-expected gold and silver production, driven by better operational performance at the company’s flagship mines, Fresnillo and San Julian, Citi said. . “The company reiterated its full year guidance of 50.5-56.5 koz for silver and 600-650 koz for gold,” Citi analysts said in a note. “Cost inflation is likely to be a key objective for the financial results expected for August 2.” ([email protected])

BOE Vote Split, Tone Could Determine Pound Moves After Rate Decision

13:45 GMT – The pound’s reaction to a possible bigger interest rate hike by the Bank of England on Thursday could hinge on signals about future policy tightening, Ebury said. “As of Friday’s close, interest rate markets were pricing in much, but not all, of a 50 basis point move, with some investors betting on a 25 basis point rise,” writes Matthew Ryan, senior strategist. ‘Ebury. The BOE will find it difficult to counter the “hawkish trend” of G10 central banks and should therefore offer a 50 basis point rate hike, which could potentially boost the pound, he says. Any rally in sterling, however, may depend on the voting pattern among policymakers and the tone of the BOE in the inflation report, he says. GBP/USD is up 0.6% to hit a 1-month high at 1.2274. EUR/GBP fell 0.3% to 0.8369. ([email protected])

Cranswick shares look cheap after strong first quarter

12:26 GMT – Shares in Cranswick tumble 1% after the British sausage and meat products maker reported higher first-quarter earnings and said its full-year outlook remained unchanged. Despite a robust comparative period, industry-wide pressures and a weak export market, Cranswick’s first-quarter update was strong, Berenberg said. “This performance underscores our appeal to Cranswick; its market leadership is strengthening, cost inflation pressures are easing and UK demand remains healthy,” Berenberg analysts said in a note. “While operating conditions remain challenging, we remain confident in Cranswick’s ability to meet the challenges and at 12.5x EV/EBIT it is trading below historical averages and our fair value view.” They hold a buy rating on the stock. ([email protected])

European stocks rise ahead of expected US Open stability

1212 GMT – European markets rise after upbeat Asian trade and ahead of a broadly flat US open. The Stoxx Europe 600 gained 0.3%, the FTSE 100 and DAX rose 0.6% and the CAC 40 climbed 0.5%, while the Italian FTSE MIB jumped 1.6% as the Italian right faces pressure to say whether Russia was involved in the collapse of Mario Draghi’s government. Brent crude fell 2.5% to $101.27 a barrel. Markets in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Japan are all up. IG futures data shows the Dow Jones opening at 32850, versus Friday’s close at 32845. ([email protected])

Vodafone’s M&A ambitions look less compelling

11.57 GMT – Vodafone Group’s progress on portfolio shares has been disappointing and while a deal leading to the deconsolidation of Vantage Towers looks likely in the short term, the company’s ambition to actively participate in mobile consolidation at short term seems less compelling, says Bernstein. “We’re starting to see a weaker organic growth story. Additionally, we see less upside potential from M&A. We still expect a deal leading to the deconsolidation of Vantage Towers (stock positive), but other stocks in the portfolio look less attractive, probably in the near future,” Bernstein Stan Noel and Ajay Soni said in a note. The US brokerage has a market performance rating on the stock, from previous outperformance, and lowers the target price to 135.00 pence from 155.00 pence. ([email protected])

Polestar’s main strength is its relationship with Volvo and Geely

11:07 GMT – Unlike many other electric vehicle startups, Polestar has already delivered more than 50,000 vehicles globally since production began last year and appears on track to deliver 50,000 units this year alone, Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner said in a note. “We believe Polestar’s main strength is its close partnership with Geely and Volvo, creating an asset-light business model, accelerating time to market, reducing manufacturing and supply risk, and ultimately enabling the company to focus on designing, expanding and building the brand,” he says. Polestar was founded by Volvo Car and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2017, and the two companies remain major shareholders. Deutsche Bank initiates a pending hedge with a price target of $10. ([email protected])

Belvoir’s 1H results look impressive given a strong comparator

10:56 GMT – Belvoir’s positive first-half results show an 11% increase in revenue, which is impressive given that 2021 has been an exceptionally strong year for the property sector, according to finnCap. The British property rental company’s strong results were driven by management fees and income from financial services, and the number of mortgage advisers rose 24%, supporting prospects for continued growth, the agency said. finnCap analyst Guy Hewett in a research note. Belvoir’s cheap share price shows that the market is still significantly undervaluing its above-average long-term growth prospects, supported by the possibility of continuing to reinvest the strong cash flows underlying the directed model. by the franchise, according to the British investment bank. finnCap maintains its price target of 385.0 pence on the share. The shares are down 1.1% at 235.0 pence. ([email protected])

Appointment of new Speedy Hire CEO looks positive

10.35 GMT – Speedy Hire’s appointment of current chief operating officer Dan Evans as its next chief executive is a positive appointment which should ensure the company’s momentum can be maintained, says Peel’s Andrew Nussey Hunt in a research note. Additionally, shares of the UK-based tools, equipment and factory hire services company look significantly undervalued, he adds. Peel Hunt has a buy rating on the stock with a target price of 80 pence. Shares of Speedy Hire traded up 0.4% at 47.15 pence. ([email protected])

SSP looks well positioned to accelerate post-pandemic growth

10:16 GMT – SSP Group is seeing a return to pre-pandemic travel patterns which, in turn, are increasing traffic in travel destinations and demand for concession units, with US airline passengers reaching 98% of 2019 levels early July, Jefferies analysts said in a note. Having recently outlined capacity in the range of £425m-475m to invest by 2024, the food outlet operator is well placed to accelerate post-pandemic growth, analysts say. “With a high share of independents, we see likely consolidation in the travel concessions market, driven by Covid-19 and inflationary pressures,” they say. Jefferies is evaluating the purchase of the SSP Group and has a target price of 350 pence on the share. The shares are up 6.80 pence, or 2.7%, at 261.10 pence. ([email protected])


Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires;


(END) Dow Jones Newswire

August 01, 2022 12:59 p.m. ET (4:59 p.m. GMT)

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