Morning Market Pulse -


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


FTSE 100 called to open +15pts at 7145, testing yesterday’s highs and last Thursday's 7150 breakdown. Still holding the upper half of the post-Christmas 6800-7200 rising channel. Bulls need a break above 7150 to retest last week’s highs of 7185. Bears require a breach of 3-day rising support at 7120, if not Feb rising support at 7105. Watch levels: Bullish 7150, Bearish 7120


Calls for a higher open come after equity markets in Asia followed Wall St’s lead higher following an agreement in principle by US lawmakers to avert a fresh government shutdown, granting President Trump $1.4B in funding for border controls, but only for bollard fencing not an actual wall, and well below his desired $5.8B.


The Dow Jones was the lone underperformer on Wall St after lacklustre progress in US-China trade talks. Trade officials tussled over timing and venue of a Trump-Xi meeting and no concrete details on averting tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods emerged. Oil prices are higher after reports the Libyan army was planning to hand over control of the giant El Sharara oil field to the National Oil Corporation.


Company news this morning TUI Q1 revenues +4.4% but net loss +27% (underlying EBITA loss +129%) hit by long hot North European summer, Mediterranean overcapacity, weaker GBP, but in line with revised expectations, Summer 2019 bookings in-line. TUI warned on 2019 profits last week.


Bookmakers William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair and GVC will likely breathe a sigh of relief that UK horse-racing will resume Wednesday after a one week haft following a an outbreak of equine flu. BAE Systems gets $114.5m contract for maintenance/modernization of USS Destroyer Bulkeley.


British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus owner IAG has blocked further share acquisitions by non-EU citizens who already own 47.5%, to ensure it respects the 50%+ EU ownership required to operate. Burberry may react to record quarterly results from French luxury peer Kering, with strong demand from China.


Ratings agency Moody’s says Ofwat review of UK-listed water utilities (Severn Trent, United Utilities, Pennon) 5yr business plans will boost credit profiles, with allowances matching proposals. AA expects FY trading EBITDA not less than £340m, in upper half of £335-345m guidance range, CAPEX broadly in-line with guidance of £105m; Strong and stable cash conversion.


Plus500 issues FY19 revenue and profits warning due to impact of ESMA regulations. This is in spite of a positive start to FY19, with new trades ahead of last year. FY’18 revenue +65% after strong cryptocurrency trading, EBITDA +95%, ARPU +72%, final dividend +18.4%.


CYBG inks JV with Salary Finance fintech platform to provide personal lending services. Stagecoach subsidiary East Midlands Trains agrees new short-term (3 Mar-18 Aug) rail franchise with Department for Transport; possibility for 24 week extension by DfT.


Genel Energy announces upward technical revision to reserves at Taq Taq. Interserve says Dougie Sutherland, managing director of developments division and responsible for UK construction operations, to leave executive team end-Feb, leave board immediately.


Debenhams agrees additional 12-Month senior secured bridge credit facility of £40m at LIBOR +5% (provisions for Q2 step-up in pricing) to facilitate broader refinancing; certain covenants waived; to form strategic partnership with Li & Fung.


In M&A land RPC bidder Apollo says shareholder Eminence has sold all remaining shares in RPC, meaning it can no longer vote in favour of takeover offer. Greencoat UK Wind moves up closure of £131m placing to finance acquisitions, to 12 Feb (from 14 Feb), following strong investor demand.


GB Group to acquire IDology, a US-based provider of ID check and fraud prevention services for $300m cash, equating to 7.9x 2018 revenues and 18.4x EBITDA, financed by a £160m/25.5% placing of new shares at 3.1% discount and approximately £84m new borrowings.


In focus today we have several high-profile central bank speakers, though it’s the chiefs will take centre stage. Bank of England (BoE) Governor Carney (1pm, centrist) discusses the global economy, international trade and risks to the outlook in a special FT-organised event in London, with Brexit almost guaranteed to rear its head.


In the US, Fed Chair Powell (5:45pm, centrist) speaks on economic development in high poverty rural communities in Mississippi, followed by an audience Q&A.


Elsewhere, we have the no-less-notable ECB’s/Bundesbank’s Weidmann (8:20am, hawkish, “The role of the central bank in a modern economy – a European perspective“), the Fed’s George (10:30pm, hawkish, voter, "Charting America's Economic Course"), the Fed’s Mester (11:30pm, hawkish, non-voter, discussing economic outlook and monetary policy) and, finally, the ECB’s Lautenschläger (11:30pm, hawkish, keynote address at banking supervision conference).


Data is limited to US NFIB Business Optimism (11am), set to pull back in January to 16-month lows, as well as US JOLTs Job Openings (3pm), forecast to rebound from a November fall. Oil traders have the OPEC Monthly Report and API Oil Inventories (9:30pm) to look forward to.

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