The FTSE-100 finished yesterday's session 0.01% lower at 7,246.77, whilst the FTSE AIM All-Share index was down 0.03% at 1,041.01. In continental Europe, the CAC-40 finished 0.64% higher at 5,289.86 whilst the DAX was up 0.83% at 12,487.90.
Last night in New York, the Dow Jones fell 254.63 points, or 1.01%, to end the day at 24,964.75. The S&P-500 ended 15.96 points lower at 2,716.26 and Nasdaq shed 5.16 points to stand at 7,234.31.
In Asia this morning, the Nikkei 225 was 4.51 points higher at 21,929.61 heading into the close. The Hang Seng was also on the front foot, with the index up 1.11% at 31,216.05. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Stock Exchange remains closed as the Lunar New Year break continues in China.
At around 6:00am, WTI crude was 1.1% lower at $61.11 per barrel and Brent crude was down 0.86% at $64.96 per barrel.
Men still earn more than women at most firms
The majority of small and medium-sized companies are still paying male employees more than their female colleagues. Almost three in four firms pay higher wages collectively to men, according to the latest government figures. Just 15% of businesses with more than 250 employees have a higher wage bill for women. The remaining 11% claim there is no difference between the salaries paid to men and women. The BBC analysis shows that the average gender pay gap across all medium and large-sized firms is now 8.2%. That means men typically earn 8.2% more an hour than women. Among those with the largest gender pay gap are airlines such as Tui and Easyjet, and banks including Virgin Money, the Clydesdale and TSB.
Source: BBC News
Cadence Minerals (LON:KDNC) 0.26p – Update
Cadence Minerals announced yesterday that Macarthur Minerals (MMS.TSX-V), of which Cadence owns 15.2%, has added the potential high-grade hematite Mt Manning iron ore project to its adjacent Ularring hematite iron ore project in Western Australia. Macarthur is an Australian exploration company focused primarily on lithium, iron ore and gold in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Exploration results from Mt Manning have demonstrated high-grade hematite of up to 65.5% Fe. Macarthur has completed mapping and metallurgical testing and is currently applying for a drilling permit to delineate a resource at Mt Manning. The project is near current mining operations that is linked to established rail infrastructure to the Port of Esperance.
Beaufort Securities acts as corporate broker to Cadence Minerals Plc
Prairie has published excellent coal testing results (coking and washplant) from a wide diameter bore hole at Jan Karski, its semi-soft coking coal project in Poland. The main takeaway is that seam 391 which dominates the mine plan has a high yield (83%) of which 75% is a premium quality semi soft coking coal. Also known in Poland as Type 34 coal. The high quality is driven primarily by the very low ash characteristics but also the high coke strength (CSR). Platts specifications suggest “Jan Karski should be priced at a 10% premium above the benchmark Rio Tinto Hunter Valley Semi Soft Coking Coal (SSCC)”.
Our view: Jan Karski will be a large scale, low production cost mine, so to have a premium semi soft coking coal should make it unusually high margin. The value of the Jan Karski project is also enhanced by the shortage of Type 34 coal in Europe due to mine closures and depletion in Poland and Czech Republic. As a result Europe imports the majority of its Type 34 and indeed other types of coking coal from the US and Australia. This morning’s announcement states that Prairie “can now advance discussions with regional steelmakers and coke producers for future coking coal sales and offtake on the basis of selling ultra-low ash semi-soft / Type 34 coking coals from Jan Karski”. For different reasons Prairie has excellent momentum at both its coking coal projects (Jan Karski and Debiensko) and we expect the shares to continue to outperform going forward.
Beaufort Securities acts as corporate broker to Prairie Mining Limited
Reckitt Benckiser (LON:RB) 6,075.00p – Sell
Reckitt Benckiser’s (RB) Q4-17 results missed consensus expectations, but more importantly, the outlook for organic revenue growth, gross margin progression and cash flow has deteriorated. We were not impressed with CEO Rakesh Kapoor’s explanations, and believe that he has now presided over a number of value destructive acquisitions. The fact that RB is still in the running to acquire Pfizer’s Consumer Health portfolio, makes us even more nervous.
RB’s virtuous earnings growth model, which has worked well for so many years, is now broken in our view, exemplified by flat 2017 LFL revenues, gross margin deterioration, lower marketing spend and over-priced, badly thought out M&A.
Looking to 2018 and beyond, RB is likely to experience negative price and mix pressure, rising input costs, changing channel structures in many countries and a negative FX outlook. This is on top of disappointing initial results from RB’s latest acquisition, Mead Johnson (MJN). Overall, we are very concerned, and thus downgrade our recommendation to Sell (Hold).
Click here to see Beaufort's research note on GlaxoSmithKline published yesterday
On Wednesday, 7th February 2018 Mike Read, Chairman & CEO of Falanx answered questions posed by private investors at the Beaufort offices. Click here to see the interview.