Markets Round-Up 31st October 2017.

Stock Markets

Retailers and health-care companies slipped following a raft of downgrades from analysts. The declines weighed on the U.S. stock indexes at the start of a busy week that was set to include another round of earnings results. (The Nasdaq ⇓0.03% to 6,698.96, the Dow  ⇓0.36% to 23,348.74 and the S&P 500  ⇓0.32% to 2,572.83. )

Asian Shares meandered in Asia after markets retreated from their record highs overnight and China reported weak manufacturing data (Japanese Nikkei   ⇓0.00%, Hong Kong Hang Seng ⇓0.32%, The Chinese CSI 300 ⇓0.07%, Taiwan TAIEX ⇑034.% Korean Kospi ⇑0.86%, Australian ASX ⇓0.17%  and the Indian Nifty ⇓0.29%.)

In London shares were mostly flat today, held back by the strengthening pound (The FTSE 100  ⇓0.07% to 7493.08, the FTSE 250  also ⇑0.07% to 20,227.86.)

In Europe the indexes were stronger (Euro Stoxx 50  ⇑0.32%, German Dax  ⇑0.09%, French CAC40  flat 0.18% , Spanish IBEX  ⇑0.74% , Italian MIB ⇑0.18%)


The pound is up against the Euro after Brexit talks look to speed up and eurozone inflation is below expectations, rising to €1.1392 and against the dollar at $1.3270 US Dollars.


Gold continued to drop ( $1269.2.)

Oil Prices continued to tick up ($61.1, WTI $54.25)

Other News

UK consumer confidence weakened in October on concerns about wider economic prospects but willingness to buy improved for the third straight month, survey data from GfK showed Tuesday. The consumer sentiment index fell by one point to -10 in October. “As concerns about the wider economic prospects for the UK economy dampen our outlook, consumers are showing no real ‘get-up-and-go’,” Joe Staton, head of Market Dynamics at GfK, said.

The eurozone’s economy grew by 0.6% in the three months to September, above analysts’ expectations, according to EU statistics office Eurostat. For the past 12 months, the growth rate was 2.5%, Eurostat said. Last month, the European Central Bank (ECB) raised its 2017 growth forecast for the 19-nation eurozone to 2.2%, the fastest in 10 years. Eurostat also said eurozone unemployment was 8.9% in September, the lowest rate for nearly nine years.

The oil and gas offshore industry regulator has reduced its estimates of the amount of known oil and gas left under UK waters. The amount in known reserves and capable of extraction has dropped from 6.3 billion barrels to 5.7 billion, over the year to the end of 2016. The central estimate by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) was 7.8 billion barrels at the end of 2014. That was when the oil price had just begun to fall. However, all these estimated OGA figures have wide variations on the possible outcomes. The latest estimate, published on Tuesday, is seen as being enough to sustain some production for at least the next two decades.

Weir Group said its annual operating profits are expected to be slightly lower than previously indicated as a result of project phasing, investment in growth and one-off plant reconfiguration costs. In the third quarter, group orders increased 21%, which the company pinned on a focus on customers and technology in improving markets. “At a group level, we anticipate strong growth in full year constant currency revenues and profits,” chief executive John Stanton said.

Croda International saw continued organic growth in the third quarter driven by Personal Care and has affirmed its full year outlook. The group said the improved sales trend seen in the first half continued in Q3 with constant currency sales up 4.4% in the quarter and 4.0% year to date. Across the three core sectors, constant currency sales in Q3 grew 5.7% (up 4.8% year to date). It said this was driven by a strengthening performance in Personal Care, with constant currency sales up 7.5%, building on the recovery seen in the first half of the year.

WPP said its third-quarter revenue climbed 1.1%, underpinned by currency gains. Revenue in the three months through September rose to £3.649b, though constant currency revenue fell 0.4% and like-for-like revenue fell 2.0%. Turning to the outlook, the company said its 2017 third-quarter forecast will be formally reviewed in the first two weeks of November, but indicates broadly flat like-for-like revenue and net sales growth.

Ryanair posted an 11% increase in net profit after the budget airline experienced robust growth in traffic volumes. Net profit for the six months through September rose to €1.29bn, boosted by 11% growth in traffic volumes and lower fuel costs. Ryanair stuck to its annual earnings guidance, despite recently having to cancel hundreds of flights due to an issue with staff holiday rostering.

Just Eat has increased its full year revenue guidance after a strong performance in the three months to the end of September. Reported revenues were up 47% at £138.6m in the third quarter driven by strong order growth and the inclusion of SkipTheDishes. On a currency neutral basis, revenues grew by 44%. Total orders were up 29% to 43.1 million in the Third Quarter (Q3 2016: 33.3 million). UK orders were 26.2 million (Q3 2016: 21.4 million), up 22% against a comparative period that was impacted by unseasonal weather conditions.

BP said its performance in the third quarter of 2017 was well ahead of the previous year, allowing it to turn to profit in the first nine months, as the oil giant also said it intends to launch a share buyback later this year. BP kept its quarterly dividend flat at 10 cents per share for the three months to the end of September, but said it plans to offer a share buyback in the final quarter of the year to offset the dilution that arises from its scrip dividend offer, when shareholders take payouts in shares rather than cash.



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