FTSE down, pound falls after retail sales seen as vulnerable to EU trade disputes

Markets News: 

The pound falls after retail sales, deemed vulnerable to EU trade disputes

The pound fell, hitting a six-week low of 1.3855 against the dollar after UK data showed retail sales fell 1.4% in May, raising concerns about the economic recovery slowing. That was below expectations of a Wall Street Journal poll for a 1.6% increase as demand slowed after an initial rush to buy goods the month before after the economy reopened. The currency is also vulnerable to trade tensions between the UK and the EU, the former threatening to unilaterally extend a grace period for processed meat exports to Northern Ireland, according to ING. The next few weeks “could be a vulnerable period” for GBP / USD, which could drop to 1.3800, according to ING.

Companies News: 

Victoria Oil & Gas to issue up to $ 7.5 million in loan notes

Victoria Oil & Gas PLC announced on Friday that it has entered into a facility agreement with Meridian Capital Ltd. to raise gross proceeds of up to $ 7.5 million through the issuance of unsecured loan notes.

Unite Group closes the sale of its properties in London for £ 342 million

Unite Group PLC said on Friday it had sold two London properties to its London Student Accommodation joint venture with GIC, the Singapore government’s real estate portfolio, for £ 342 million ($ 476.3 million).

Braveheart Investment Group reported pre-tax profit for fiscal 2021

Braveheart Investment Group PLC said on Friday it moved to pre-tax profit for fiscal 2021 as total income increased, and the board would look for opportunities to improve shareholder value as the year progresses. .

Smartspace Software wins contract with Gategroup

Smartspace Software PLC announced on Friday that it has entered into a new contract with Gategroup Holding AG for the use of its SwipedOn visitor management solution in the international corporate arena.

Sabien Technology appoints Athan Fox Chief Scientific Officer

Sabien Technology Group PLC announced on Friday that Athan Fox has been appointed Scientific Director with immediate effect.

Lekoil Nigeria President and CEO resigns from Lekoil Cayman Board of Directors

Lekoil Nigeria announced on Friday that three of its directors and officers have resigned from the board of directors of Lekoil Cayman.

Tesco’s first quarter retail sales growth has slowed and supports earnings outlook for fiscal 2022 – Update

–Sales growth slowed in its main UK market

Lightsource BP acquires a portfolio of 703 MW solar projects in Spain

Lightsource bp, a subsidiary of BP PLC, has acquired a pipeline of three solar projects in Aragon, Spain, totaling 703 megawatts of generation capacity.

Braemar could register a loss of 900,000 GBP if the buyer of Wavespec does not fulfill his obligations

Braemar Shipping Services PLC said on Friday it would likely recognize a non-monetary loss of 900,000 pounds ($ 1.3 million) from discontinued operations in fiscal 2022 if the purchaser of its Wavespec business does not meet its obligations.

Serabi Gold says he won’t need to restate past financial accounts

Serabi Gold PLC said on Friday that it would not need to restate past financial accounts after finding unauthorized cash withdrawals from its Brazilian subsidiary Serabi Mineracao SA.

HSBC hires former Barclays Ginsburg banker in investment banking reshuffle

financial news

Market Talk: 

Food price inflation poses challenge for Tesco

0956 GMT – Tesco is facing food price inflation while trying to cut costs which have skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic, said Russ Mold of AJ Bell. Grocer FTSE 100 said in April that it expects a strong recovery in profitability this year as the majority of the pandemic-related costs it recorded in fiscal 2021 will not recur . However, food inflation poses a new challenge, as Tesco must decide whether it can pass all the extra costs on to customers or risk reducing its profits, Mold explains. “The upcoming launch of the Russian discount supermarket Mere in the UK will add more competition, so Tesco must be very careful that any changes in its prices do not alienate its customers,” said Mold.

Tesco 1Q numbers indicate standardization of spending patterns

09:40 GMT – Tesco’s first quarter figures appear to suggest UK consumers are normalizing their spending habits and not necessarily limiting their spending despite continuing economic uncertainty, said Sophie Lund-Yates of Hargreaves Lansdown. Retailer FTSE 100 said like-for-like general merchandise and apparel sales increased 10% and 52%, respectively, in the three months ending in late May after the pandemic hit demand over the past decade. same period last year, according to Lund-Yates. “The upheaval in consumption habits is not yet over, but this first indication could have positive connotations for other retailers,” she said.

UK plans to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated travelers, a boon for Spain

0909 GMT – The UK government’s plans to allow travelers who have received two Covid-19 vaccines to skip quarantine upon their return to England would be very positive for Spain’s tourism sector, Banco Sabadell said. In the case of IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia among others, UK operations account for 33% of global sales, which would confirm expectations that the group would reach 60% of its capacity in Q3, compared to in Q3 2019, according to the Spanish bank. . For Spanish hotel chain Melia, the UK accounts for 14% of EBIT, while for NH hotels, the effect would be residual given that its business model is mainly made up of city hotels, according to the bank. Banco Sabadell has a buy rating on IAG. Shares of the company in London are up 0.2% to 200.70 pence.

Small drop in UK retail sales is no cause for concern

0907 GMT – UK retail sales unexpectedly fell 1.4% from May, but given that the biggest drop was in grocery stores, this may reflect some of those who return to eat and drink outside their homes, according to HSBC. The decline in retail sales is mainly due to a 5.7% month-on-month decline in supermarkets. “What we may be seeing is the start of a shift from spending on goods to spending on services,” said Elizabeth Martins, senior economist at HSBC. May’s slight drop follows a strong April, where volumes rose 9.2%, meaning spending levels are still above pre-pandemic levels, Martins said.

Tesco says unchanged guidelines are the result of continued uncertainty

0903 GMT – Tesco’s reiteration of its forecast for fiscal 2022 is purely a reflection of market uncertainty for the rest of the year, the UK grocer’s chief executive and chief financial officer said during a call with analysts. CEO Ken Murphy says it’s not clear how Tesco customers will react to the lifting of remaining coronavirus restrictions, whether or not they will be able to travel, what the outlook for the job market looks like and what will make inflation. CFO Imran Nawaz said Tesco had a strong first quarter, but the outlook has not changed as the market outlook remains uncertain. “None of that uncertainty has changed in the past six weeks since our last conversation with the market,” Nawaz said.

Weak UK retail sales data could signal weaker than expected economic growth for May

08:43 GMT – The 1.4% month-on-month drop in retail sales in May could suggest that economic growth was not as strong as expected that month, said Paul Dales, UK chief economist at Capital Economics. The fall in spending on goods will have reduced GDP by 0.1 percentage point in May, which is expected to have increased by 1.5% to 2% from the previous month, he said. “As Covid-19 restrictions continue to be relaxed, it makes sense for retail sales to be weaker,” says Dales, as consumers shift their spending from stores to social activities.

UK retail spending recovery expected to run out of steam this year

0811 GMT – The high level of retail spending in the current quarter in the UK is unlikely to continue for the rest of the year, said Pantheon Macroeconomics UK chief economist Samuel Tombs. Consumer spending is approaching its pre-pandemic level, and real household disposable income is expected to decline in the fourth quarter as the end of the holiday program cuts employment and inflation rises, he said. UK retailers are also likely to take a smaller share of overall spending compared to recent months, as consumers start spending more on services in the midst of the reopening, according to Tombs.

Tesco could be more generous to shareholders in the future

0811 GMT – Tesco’s progress in reducing debt in recent years means the UK grocer is now in a better position to be progressively more generous to shareholders in the future, Shore Capital said. “Management has tended to talk about favoring a stock repurchase route as the primary mechanism for distributing excess cash, which makes sense at current levels of stock valuation in our opinion, with the start being delayed due to Understandable concerns about the scope of the on-going expensive pandemic controls, ”says Shore. If England’s full reopening takes place in July, Tesco is more likely to have the option of a share buyback after its half-year results in October, according to Shore.


Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; + 44-20-7842-931

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 18, 2021 06:28 ET (10:28 GMT)

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