Mike van Dulken and Artjom Hatsaturjants at Accendo Markets, commented to clients this morning:
FTSE 100 called to open +5pts at 7135, off yesterday’s 7110 lows, but equally off 7163 overnight highs. The index remains index in a 2-week shallow falling channel. Bulls need a break above 7160 to challenge 7195 3-week falling highs resistance. Bears require a breach of 7110 lows to test 7045 long-term rising support. Watch levels: Bullish 7160, Bearish 7110
Calls for an lukewarm open come in spite of positive trading on Wall St and in Asia courtesy of a strong rebound in the US Tech sector (Apple +3.5%, Amazon +3%) offsetting sharp losses for Dow heavyweight Boeing (-5.3%) following the grounding by many airlines of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
The Pound has rallied as much as 1.25% overnight on the back of Brexit progress optimism, limiting upside for the FTSE’s international names. That said GBP has since pared some of its overnight gains as doubts remain that the legally binding assurances secure by PM May will suffice to sway Eurosceptic MPs (and the DUP) ahead of tonight’s Meaningful Vote 2.0.
In corporate news this morning;
Cairn Energy 2018 op loss $182m, pre-tax loss $1.27bn, $166m impairment on Kraken reserves, $713m loss on Vedanta sale; forecasts 2019 CAPEX $300m (+19%), production seen 19-22K barrels/day (2018: 17.5K); plans material exploration, targeting 1bn barrels, supported by cash flow.
Enquest disputes Cairn Energy’s downgrade of 2P reserves at Kraken. John Wood has won a 2yr contract to construct a biofuel facility in Oregon, converting 136Kt of waste wood into 15.1m gallons of renewable fuel each year.
Sirius Minerals has conditional proposal from major financial institution for stage 2 financing; considered more flexible than existing lenders, replaces recently touted $3bn multi-tranche structure.
Domino’s Pizza FY group sales +9% (UK like-for-like +4.6%, IRL +4%), underlying pre-tax profit -1.1%, net debt +127.9%. Final div +3.8%. Expects 2019 UK/IRL growth, but less store openings amid ongoing franchisee dispute; International to break even despite Nordic challenges.
888 FY revenues flat (B2C -2%, B2B -8%, released £10.7m in accrued VAT), adj. pre-tax profit +11% boosted by positive swing in exceptionals. Final div +1.6%, special div -64% (FY: -21.3%). Positive 2018 momentum continued into Q1’19, avg. daily rev. +10% QoQ, UK trading trends improving.
G4S FY underlying revenues +1.1%, adj. pre-tax profit flat after £100m provision for California class action settlement, op. cash flow -12.2%. Secure Solutions revenues (78% of group) +3% organic, but notes challenging trading in Cash Solutions (organic ex-Retail -9.3%). Div flat. Cash Solutions separation review ongoing, received unsolicited acquisition offers.
HSBC has issued $3bn in senior unsecured notes due 2025 ($2.5B of which at 3.8%). In the Mining space, Barrick Gold, which recently merged with Randgold Resources, has dropped a $18bn hostile bid for rival Newmont Mining, touting joint venture options.
In focus today:
UK politics will take centre stage after PM May’s late dash to Strasbourg to negotiate Brexit with EU President Juncker. Has she secured sufficient legally binding assurances on the Northern Ireland backstop to get her meaningful vote 2.0 through parliament? How will the ruling Tories’ Northern Irish DUP confidence-and-supply partners and eurosceptics (especially hard-line ERGers) vote?
UK macro data could be equally impactful, with monthly GDP (9:30am) expected to rebound in Jan (0.2% vs -0.4% prev.) helping accelerate the annual pace of growth to 1.2% YoY (from 1.0% prev.). That said, the rolling 3-month average is seen unchanged at 0.2% MoM.
Industrial and Manufacturing Production are both forecast to rebound in Jan, but enough to get annual growth out of contraction. Construction Output may also fall 0.3% in Jan, helping reverse some of December’s 2.4% plunge, but not enough to get back to growth.
Stateside, we get US February Inflation (12:30pm), with both core and headline readings unchanged from January. NFIB Business Optimism (10am) may improve slightly from last month’s lowest read in 26 months.
In terms of speakers we have the ECB’s Enria (8:45am, "The reconstructed supervisory framework – have we got the pieces right?") and Lautenschläger (10:45am, "Basel I,II, III – evolution of global banking regulation"), both speaking at the Bank of International Settlement conference in Basel, alongside several other global central bankers and policymakers.
From the other side of the Pond, we have Fed’s Brainard (12:45pm, voter, centrist, "Community Reinvestment Act Modernization") speaking in Washington, with an audience Q&A.