Kier Group update and Brexit fallout to star on Friday

It looks like Friday will be a quiet one in terms of company news, but the City will have plenty to get its teeth into, with Theresa May’s position looking increasingly fragile

theresa may
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Motorways builder Kier Group PLC (LON:KIE) will push out its customary trading update ahead of its annual general meeting on Friday.

Big government contractors such as Kier have faced deeper scrutiny from investors this year as a result of Carillion’s collapse back in January.

But analysts at Peel Hunt aren’t expecting any shockers in this update, which they think will show that trading is steady, and that progress is being made with its Vision 2020 five-year strategy.

Kier made another non-core disposal on Thursday, selling off its Australian road maintenance for £24mln. Given that this is a key part of management’s strategy, investors will be looking to see if there are any more sales in the pipeline.

Afarak looking for better Q3

Chrome producer Afarak Group plc (LON:AFRK) is due to publish a third-quarter update on Friday.

The company’s recent news flow has centred on a share buyback, with Afarak offering to buy out some investors for €1.015 a share amid pressure from certain shareholders who argued liquidity constraints made it difficult to trade the stock.

As for recent trading, the market will want to see a pick-up in the FerroAlloy segment which held back half-year results.

Low prices and some issues at its South African mines were to blame then, so investors will be hoping things have improved in recent months.

To May or not to May?

Away from companies, the markets will be bracing themselves for more Brexit fallout.

The pound jumped earlier in the week on reports that a deal was close, but negative reaction to Theresa May’s draft agreement from within her own cabinet saw sterling reverse those gains on Thursday.

Brexit secretary Dominic Raab handed in his resignation after seeing the final agreement, while work and pensions secretary Esther McVey and junior Brexit minister Suella Braverman also walked away.

There has been much talk that Raab’s resignation in particular might be the domino that sets off a chain reaction and Tory MP Anne Marie Morris told the BBC that she thought enough letters of no confidence have now been submitted to trigger a vote on the party’s leadership.

Significant announcements expected on Friday November 16:

Trading updates: Afarak Group plc (LON:AFRK), Kier Group PLC (LON:KIE)

AGM: Eagle Eye Solutions Group PLC (LON:EYE), Kier Group PLC (LON:KIE)

Economic data: US industrial, manufacturing production

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