FTSE 100 Rises After Better-Than-Forecast UK Retail Sales Data
The FTSE 100 rises 0.7% to 7016 points as investors cheer better-than-expected U.K. retail sales data and look ahead to key U.K. purchasing managers' index surveys. U.K. retail sales rose 9.7% year-on-year in June, beating the 9.0% rise expected by economists in a WSJ survey. July's U.K. services and manufacturing PMIs are due at 0830 GMT. In company news, Vodafone shares gain 2.2% after the telecoms company said it is on track to meet its full-year guidance after first-quarter revenue rose. Natwest climbs 2.1% after the bank said it has agreed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Permanent TSB Group Holdings PLC, as part of its phased withdrawal from Ireland.
Ted Baker to Move to Cheaper Headquarters Next Year
Ted Baker PLC said Friday that it has chosen to move its new global headquarters to the London neighborhood of Fitzrovia, which will allow the company to make good savings on rent.
Alliance Trust Swung to 1H Pretax Profit; Plans to Review Dividend
Alliance Trust PLC said Friday that it swung to a pretax profit for the first half of 2021 as the value of its assets rose, and said it is launching a review of the level and funding of its dividend payments.
Fusion Antibodies Gets First GBP150,000 Research Milestone Payment
Fusion Antibodies PLC said Friday that it has achieved its first research milestone payment of 150,000 pounds ($206,520) as part of a collaboration with an undisclosed major client.
U.K.'s CMA Won't Further Probe Lanxess-Emerald Kalama Deal
The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority said Friday it won't further probe the proposed acquisition by German chemicals company Lanxess AG of Emerald Kalama Chemical.
Sealand Capital Signs New Distribution Contracts in East Asia
Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd. said Friday that it has entered into exclusive, three-year product-specific distribution contracts with Heath London, The Gruff Stuff and Carter Beauty by Melissa Carter in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China.
Harworth Sees First Half Developing Nicely
Harworth Group PLC said on Friday that it expects EPRA [European Public Real Estate Association] Net Disposal Value as at June 30 to be materially ahead of current consensus for 2021, and that it remains well-capitalized and is managing cashflows sustainably.
Myanmar Strategic Holdings 1H Loss Widened
Myanmar Strategic Holdings Ltd. on Friday reported a widened pretax loss for the first half of fiscal 2021 despite a jump in revenue as higher costs more than offset the rise.
Prime People FY 2021 Pretax Loss Narrowed; Suspends Final Dividend
Prime People PLC said on Friday that its pretax loss for fiscal 2021 narrowed on lower costs, but that it isn't declaring a final dividend for the year.
Vodafone 1Q Revenue Rebounds After Pandemic Hit
Vodafone Group PLC said Friday that revenue rebounded in the first quarter of fiscal 2022, recovering from the hit caused by the coronavirus pandemic last year, and said it is on track to meet its expectations for the full year.
UK PMI Survey Points to Stalling Recovery
0946 GMT - The U.K. composite PMI for July, which fell to 57.8 from 62.4 the previous month, signals that the economic recovery has paused amid the rise in Covid-19 infections, says James Smith, developed markets economist at ING. The survey compiled by IHS Markit is consistent with other high-frequency data of weakened mobility and spending, and there could be more signs of people socializing less in the coming weeks, he says. ING expects U.K. GDP to expand by 1.5% in 3Q on quarter, though there are downside risks. "There's little doubt that further progress in the recovery really relies on Covid-19 prevalence falling again," Smith says. "It's a reminder that the recovery is likely to be far from smooth," he says.
Beazley Shows It's Started to Recover
0937 GMT - Beazley shares jump 5% to 380 pence after the Lloyd's of London insurer reported a swing to first-half pretax profit on higher revenue. Overall, the results beat consensus with a positive outlook statement, Panmure Gordon says. There is no interim dividend, but the group said it remains committed to a dividend and will consider this at the end of the year after taking into account 2021 results as a whole, Panmure says. "Overall, we believe Beazley has demonstrated it's started its recovery and that concerns should ease on its cyber book. We reiterate our buy rating with unchanged target price of 410p," Panmure analyst Ming Zhu says.
Commodity Prices Are a Risk for Unhedged Energy Suppliers, According to Centrica
0913 GMT - Given the current commodity-price backdrop, Centrica management said in a call with analysts that it is well-hedged and that any energy suppliers that are unhedged would suffer serious price difficulties, Jefferies says in a note following the energy company's second-quarter results. The owner of British Gas didn't provide anything new regarding disposals, except ruling out the possibility of listing oil-and-gas subsidiary Spirit Energy given the age and life of the assets, the U.S. bank adds.
Premier Foods Reaps Benefits of Shake-Up
0911 GMT - Premier Foods gains 3% after the maker of Mr Kipling cakes and Sharwood's curry sauces forecast full-year adjusted pretax profit at the top end of its expectations. Premier said sales in the 13 weeks ended July 3 decreased 13% year-on-year, but still rose 6.3% over the same period in 2019. "For a business which thrived during the pandemic, it was always going to be tough beating year-on-year comparative figures," AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould says. "Premier has come a long way since its days as a zombie company where all the cash it made went on debt repayments. Now that situation has been resolved, it's re-investing fast in product innovation and marketing and you can see it's working."
Centamin's Increased 2Q Costs Seen as Slightly Dragging 2021 Ebitda
0905 GMT - Centamin reported better-than-expected revenue for the second quarter of the year, but costs were also slightly higher, Peel Hunt says. As a result, the brokerage trims its 2021 Ebitda and EPS forecasts by 1%, to $381 million and 12.1 U.S. cents. Estimates for the second half of the year and for the whole of 2022 remain unchanged. Peel Hunt maintains a buy rating on the stock and says the FTSE 250 gold miner offers a strong dividend yield. "Our full-year dividend forecast of 9 U.S. cents currently represents a 6.3% yield and we also expect the Sukari Phase 2 life of mine review in the fourth quarter to provide an added catalyst," Peel Hunt says.
Vodafone Gets Roaming-Revenue Boost
0859 GMT - Shares in Vodafone Group rise 2% after the mobile-phone operator said first-quarter revenue rebounded from the hit caused by the coronavirus pandemic last year and that it is on track to hit annual targets. Hargreaves Lansdown says revenue got a boost from a 56% rise in roaming revenue, which is paid when people use their phones abroad. "However, the real challenge is stringing several quarters, and then years, together," HL analyst William Ryder says. "The potential is there for long-term growth and shareholder-value creation, but we'll want a little more evidence before getting too upbeat."
Pound Stays Weaker After UK PMI Data Miss Forecasts
0855 GMT - The pound stays weaker after U.K. purchasing managers' index data came in worse than expected. The IHS Markit/CIPS U.K. manufacturing PMI fell to 60.4 in July from 63.9 in June, versus the 61.5 expected by economists in a WSJ survey. The services PMI dropped to 57.8 in July from 62.4 in June, compared to an expected reading of 61.8. A level above 50 indicates growth. Rising coronavirus infections subdued customer demand, disrupted supply chains, caused widespread staff shortages and cast a "darkening shadow over the outlook," Markit economist Chris Williamson says. GBP/USD last trades down 0.2% at 1.3731 and EUR/GBP is up 0.4% at 0.8579, both little changed from before the data were released.
Vodafone's 1Q Numbers May Not Fully Address Market Concerns, Citi Says
0854 GMT - Vodafone Group's first-quarter revenue beat consensus expectations, but this may not be enough to fully address the market's concerns, Citi says. While the U.K. telecommunications company posted strong overall revenue numbers, other key performance indicators were mixed and broadband additions were weak in most European markets, including Germany and Spain, Citi says. The revenue rebound was due to known factors such as easy year-earlier comparative figures due to from the coronavirus pandemic and a partial reversal of declines in roaming revenue, the bank says. However, weak broadband indicators may be a bigger issue for future quarters, Citi says.
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July 23, 2021 06:14 ET (10:14 GMT)Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.