FTSE 100 Falls 0.9% as Weak China Data Weigh on Stocks

08/16/2021 | 10:15am

The FTSE 100 started the week in negative territory as global stocks tumbled on the back of disappointing Chinese economic data. The commodities-heavy FTSE 100 fell 0.9% on Monday, with major oil and mining companies leading the losses. "The extent of the slowdown in the latest industrial production and retail sales in July has prompted some significant weakness in the likes of companies tied to the economic cycle in Asia, and China especially," Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said. Shares in Prudential, which was the session's worst performer, fell significantly, along with shares in HSBC and Burberry, which are heavily exposed to the region. On the positive side, Fresnillo rose 1.8% and was London's top gainer on Monday.

 
Companies News: 

BHP Considers Sale of $15 Billion-Valued Petroleum Business

BHP Group Ltd. said it is considering the sale of its petroleum business, a move that would reduce its exposure to fossil fuels amid growing pressure from investors and governments for resources companies to cut emissions.

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HSBC Plans $575 Mln Acquisition of AXA Singapore

HSBC Holdings PLC plans to acquire AXA Singapore for $575 million, as the Asia-focused bank steps up efforts to expand its wealth-management business in the region.

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Future PLC Buys Dennis From Exponent Private Equity for $416 Mln

Future PLC said Monday that it has acquired Dennis, a consumer media company that publishes titles including Kiplinger, MoneyWeek, The Week and IT Pro, from Exponent Private Equity LLP for around 300 million pounds ($416 million) in cash.

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Immotion Says It Achieved Positive Ebitda Year-to-Date on July Performance

Immotion Group PLC said Monday that it has achieved overall Ebitda profitability for the first seven months of the year, thanks to a strong July performance, and that it remains optimistic about its prospects for the second half.

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Ultra Electronics Agrees to GBP2.57 Bln Takeover by Advent's Cobham

Ultra Electronics Holdings PLC said Monday that it has agreed to a 2.57 billion-pound ($3.56 billion) takeover by Cobham Ultra Acquisitions Ltd., as first announced last month.

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Shares in i3 Energy Rise as Net Operating Income Guidance Is Raised

Shares in i3 Energy PLC rose Monday after the company raised its net operating income guidance for the next 12 months.

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Just Group Sells Mortgage Portfolio to Rothesay Life for GBP334 Mln

Just Group PLC said Monday that it sold a proportion of a portfolio of lifetime mortgages to Rothesay Life for 334 million pounds ($463.1 million) and that it expects to sell the remaining tranche of loans over the coming weeks.

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MTI Wireless Edge 1H Pretax Profit, Revenue Rose

MTI Wireless Edge Ltd. said Monday that pretax profit and revenue for the first half of 2021 rose, and that it is well placed to continue to increase its revenue streams and profitability.

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Clipper Logistics Signs New Contract With John Lewis

Clipper Logistics PLC said on Monday that it has signed a new contract with U.K. department store chain John Lewis Partnership PLC, and that around 200 new jobs will be created at its Bardon, England, facility to support the new contract.

 
Market Talk: 

Investors Slash Gold Positions Amid Fed Tightening Fears

0945 GMT - Investors shrunk their net positions in gold last week to the lowest level in five months, amid concerns about the Federal Reserve's plans to tighten monetary policy. Speculative investors cut their bullish gold bets and added to bearish ones last week, according to data from FactSet. Investors' net positions slumped by more than 54,000 lots--or 60%--to 35,400 lots. The moves coincided with a sharp slump in the gold price as a result of stronger than expected U.S. economic data, and a mini-flash crash for gold that took place Monday, which had taken some analysts by surprise. The data suggests speculative investors exiting their positions in part drove the sudden drop, says Commerzbank. Comex gold futures are down 0.1% at $1,777.10 a troy ounce. (william.horner@wsj.com)

Petroleum Exit Would Be Step Forward on ESG for BHP

0910 GMT - Exiting the oil and gas industry won't fully solve BHP's ESG headwinds, but it would be a step forward in dealing with an important part of their carbon emissions, says Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management, which holds BHP shares. Investor concerns about climate change have risen sharply in the past 18 months, says Gluskie, who reckons the Covid-19 pandemic may have played a part by underscoring global risks that some investors had been blase about. "The focus on these ESG considerations has ratcheted up several notches and it's meant that the pressure on the major emitters has gone from being a peripheral concern to one that's a quite pressing concern," he says. (rhiannon.hoyle@wsj.com; @RhiannonHoyle)

Clipper Logistics' New Contract Win Seen as Positive

0833 GMT - Clipper Logistics' latest contract win with U.K. department store chain John Lewis is positive and follows previous wins and/or extensions with River Island, ASOS in Europe, and letters of intent with JD Sports and others, Shore Capital says. "These contracts demonstrate the group's key role in the provision of end-to-end services in the online retailing sector," the U.K. investment group says. Shore Capital has an 801 pence target price on the logistics-services provider's stock. Shares are down 0.9% at 794 pence. (anthony.orunagoriainoff@dowjones.com)

UK Inflation Seen Continuing Its Way Up

0822 GMT - The U.K.'s inflation data for June provided another jolt to markets, beating consensus expectations, says Sanjay Raja, U.K. economist at Deutsche Bank. The annual inflation rate was 2.5% in June, while core inflation reached 2.3%. Deutsche Bank forecasts U.K. inflation cooled marginally in July as base effects and some negative payback in core goods weighed on annual price growth. The bank expects consumer price inflation inched down to 2.4% in July, while core consumer price inflation remained flat at 2.3%. Inflation risks remain tilted to the upside, Raja says. Looking ahead, Deutsche Bank continues to see the path of inflation as up, with peak annual inflation printing close to 4%. (maria.martinez@wsj.com)

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; paul.larkins@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

08-16-21 1215ET

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