By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies on your device. Find out more about our cookie policy and the types of cookies we use by clicking here

TOP NEWS SUMMARY: UK Unemployment Rate Falls To Record Low

LONDON (Alliance News) - The following is a summary of top news stories ...

Alliance News 17 April, 2018 | 11:11AM
Email Form

LONDON (Alliance News) - The following is a summary of top news stories Tuesday.
----------
COMPANIES
----------
Associated British Foods reported a 30% drop in first half pretax profit due to absence of large exceptional gains and reduced earnings from the sugar division. For the 24 weeks to March 3, AB Foods reported a pretax profit of GBP603.0 million, down from GBP867.0 million for the same period the prior year, on revenue that rose 2.0% to GBP7.42 billion from GBP7.30 billion. In the first half of 2017 financial year, the company recorded a exceptional gain of GBP255.0 million from the sale of its US herbs and spices and south China cane sugar operations. Group adjusted operating profit for the period fell 1% to GBP648 million from GBP652 million. First half adjusted operating profit from the company's sugar division fell 27% to GBP90 million due to significantly lower EU prices. Revenue at the division was down 13% at GBP938 million. The company's fashion clothing chain, Primark, recorded a 6% rise in adjusted operating profit to GBP341 million. Revenue rose 8% to GBP3.48 billion, driven by increased retail selling space.
----------
Ashmore Group said its assets under management rose by 10% over the third quarter of its financial year, through a positive net investment performance and net inflows. The emerging markets-focused asset manager reported it had total assets under management as at the end of March of USD76.50 billion, up 10% from USD69.50 billion at the end of 2017, with a positive investment performance of USD600.0 million and net inflows of USD6.40 billion. Net inflows in the quarter were driven by continued investor demand for Emerging Markets assets, with the strongest net flows coming from the local currency, blended debt and corporate debt, the investment company said.
----------
Melrose Industries said it expects to delist the shares of GKN on May 21, as its takeover offer for the FTSE 100-listed engineering firm is expected to become wholly unconditional by Thursday. Melrose said it had received acceptances of its offer by Monday from shareholders representing 81.80% of GKN shares, following a 52.43% GKN shareholder vote at the end of March to accept its GBP8.4 billion hostile takeover bid.
----------
MARKETS
----------
London shares were higher with Associated British Foods among the blue chip risers. The pound retreated from near two-year highs after UK wage growth data missed analyst expectations. Wall Street was pointed to a higher open with banking giant Goldman Sachs set to report third quarter earnings before the open.
----------
FTSE 100: up 0.2% at 7,214.34
FTSE 250: up 0.1% at 19,794.63
AIM ALL-SHARE: flat at 1,023.92

GBP: flat at USD1.4328 (USD1.4326)
EUR: firm at USD1.2381 (USD1.2366)

GOLD: down at USD1,343.63 per ounce (USD1,349.50)
OIL (Brent): down at USD71.53 a barrel (USD72.42)

(changes since previous London equities close)
----------
ECONOMICS AND GENERAL
----------
The UK unemployment rate declined in three months to February and earnings of employees increased, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. The ILO jobless rate came in at 4.2% in three months to February, which was below the 4.3% logged in three months to January. This was the lowest rate since comparable data began in 1971. At the same time, the employment rate was 75.4%, the highest since 1971. The number of unemployed decreased by 136,000 annually to 1.42 million and employment increased by 427,000 to 32.26 million. Average weekly earnings in nominal terms increased by 2.8%, both excluding and including bonuses, compared with a year earlier. The claimant count remained unchanged at 2.4% in March. The number of people claiming jobseekers' allowances increased by 11,600 from February.
----------
China's economy showed a robust year-on-year growth rate of 6.8% in the first three months of 2018, the country's statistics bureau said, just as Beijing became embroiled in an escalating trade spat with the US. The economic results were in line with GDP growth of 6.8% reported in the last quarter of 2017. The world's second-largest economy beat expectations to grow by 6.9% in 2017, helped by surging foreign trade and retail sales. This year, the Chinese government has set an economic growth target of around 6.5% as it aims to shake up state-controlled industries, expand the high tech sector and boost domestic consumption.
----------
Britain and the US have issued a formal alert about "malicious cyber activity" by Russia amid warnings that relations with Moscow have hit an all-time low. The UK National Cyber Security Centre combined with the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security to issue an unprecedented joint "technical alert" setting out the threat across the public and private sectors. Officials said the move had been planned for "some time" and was not directly related to the US-led missiles strikes over the weekend on Russia's ally Syria. However NCSC chief executive Ciaran Martin said it was a "significant moment" in the fightback against Russian aggression in cyberspace while the White House vowed to use "all elements of national power" to combat the threat.
----------
Independent investigators have been prevented by Syrian and Russian officials from reaching the scene of an alleged chemical attack near the Syrian capital, an official said. The barrier for the inspectors comes days after the US, UK and France bombarded sites they said were linked to Syria's chemical weapons programme. The lack of access to the town of Douma by investigators from the watchdog group, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, leaves questions about the April 7 attack unanswered. OPCW director-general Ahmet Uzumcu said Syrian and Russian officials cited "pending security issues" in keeping its inspectors from reaching Douma.
----------
By Arvind Bhunjun; arvindbhunjun@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2018 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Email Form
About Author Alliance News

Alliance News provides Morningstar with continuously updating coverage of news affecting listed companies.