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Morning Market Pulse - Shelling out $8bn for new Endeavour?

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Mike van Dulken and Artjom Hatsaturjants at Accendo Markets, commented to clients this morning:

 

FTSE 100 called to open -45pts at 6730 extending its mid-month sell-off, albeit up off overnight low of 6690. Bulls need a break above 6750, to overcome falling highs resistance. Bears require a breach of 6711 (lows of last week) to extend declines. Watch levels: Bullish 6750, Bearish 6710.

 

Calls for a negative open come after yet another Wall St sell-off which took the S&P500 to 14-month lows, weighing on Asia. Chinese President Xi spoke about reforms, but disappointed with no reassurances about growth and/or stimulus, warning of potentially “unimaginable difficulties”.

 

USD and GBP are holding pat ahead of tomorrow’s Fed policy update and in spite of persistent Brexit confusion in Westminster, with a meaningful vote on the withdrawal deal now pushed out to 14 Jan and the PM personally (not the government) facing an Opposition motion of no confidence.

 

In corporate news, Bloomberg reports Royal Dutch Shell in early talks to take over Endeavor Energy Resources for c. $8bn. Wood Group wins $66m Sellafield 10yr control system framework (system design, manufacture, assembly, obsolescence management, maintenance support, decommissioning).

 

Ahead of merger with Barrick Gold, Randgold Resources recommends interim div of $2.69 (3.1%). National Grid disappointed by Ofgem financial package for ongoing RIIO 2 regulatory process, in particular the cost of equity range; doesn’t appropriately reflect risk borne by transmission networks.

 

Anglo American’s De Beers sells $540m of diamonds in 10th 2018 sales cycle (+18.6% YoY, +22.1% cycle-on-cycle), in-line with expectations. InterContinental Hotels hires Goldman Sachs for this week’s $500m special dividend ($2.621 per share) and 19-for-20 share consolidation.

 

Grainger purchased and forward-funded a 373 home 6.5% yield-on-cost “Build-to-Rent property in Birmingham for circa £77m. Dechra Pharmaceuticals completes purchase of Brazilian veterinary products maker Venco. easyHotel gets conditional agreement for 209-room hotel close to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport.

 

Petrofac FY trading in-line, $5bn new orders implies $2.6bn in H2; $10.2bn order backlog flat. $500m net divestments; continue to review options for remaining non-core assets; Net debt -58% YoY. Net production forecast in-line.

 

In focus today will be German IFO surveys (9am), with all components forecast weaker in December, Climate at its lowest since March 2017. Across the pond, US Housing Permits/Starts (1:30pm) are likely to be weak, echoing yesterday’s worst NAHB print in 3½ years.

 

 

In terms of speakers and events, Fed FOMC members begin their 2-day December meeting before Wednesday’s monetary policy update and widely expected interest rate hike.

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