Morning Market Pulse - Ferrexpo offers higher dividends for lower profits


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


Markets Overview:

FTSE 100 called to open +30pts at 7490, holding Friday’s late break above 7475 to extend the post-Christmas uptrend. Bulls need a break above 7500 to overcome overnight highs and extend the rising trend. Bears require a breach of Friday’s 7475 breakout for a re-test of rising support. Watch levels: Bullish 7500, Bearish 7475


Calls for a positive open come courtesy of higher oil prices helping the heavyweight oil majors with a knock-on for the commodity sector. This is a result of the US removing sanctions waivers for Iranian oil exports, adding to existing supply concerns. US markets closed around flat last night but Asian bourses buoyant overnight with Australia outperforming and FTSE dual listed Miners higher.

Gold remains under pressure, around its lowest since late December. Helped by USD strength in response to higher oil prices? In turn, GBP weakness is helping propel the FTSE. Brent Crude Oil is at its best since early November.


In corporate news this morning;


Barclays says it will crack down on investment banker pay as a protection measure against activist investor Edward Bramson, ahead of next week’s AGM.


Centrica, the UK-listed energy giant, is making strides towards rejuvenating its revenues with a bet on expanding its software business.


Thomas Cook is said to be sale to be exploring a sale to Chinese group Fosun which already owns a 17% stake


British Land will be reducing its retail business to about 30-35% of its portfolio after it sold 12 of its superstores from its joint venture with Sainsburys. The decision comes as British Land is looking to reassess its business strategy.


Ferrexpo Full Year results include a 40% hike to the dividend. Continued debt reduction and increased capital investments also show growth for the company. However, an increase in dividends is announced while profits have fallen by 15%, net operating cash flow also down 17.3%.


Unilever agrees to acquire OLLY Nutrition, a premium US-based wellbeing business in the vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS) category.

BP and partners sanctions $6bn development in the Caspian Sea, offshore Azerbaijan; includes a new offshore platform and facilities to process up to 100K barrels of oil per day. First production expected 2023, and  up to 300m barrels over its lifetime.


In focus today:


With markets slowly coming back from a prolonged weekend, the most important data coming out today is US New Home Sales (3pm), especially after Existing Home sales fell to their lowest in more than 3 years yesterday.


New calls from Conservative Brexiteers for Theresa May to resign as PM and party leader could also spice things up in the United Kingdom. Watch GBP and its knock-on for the FTSE100.

Later this week, listen out for US GDP, another deluge of corporate results from both sides of the Atlantic, including Antofagasta, AB Foods, Anglo American, Barclays, Taylor Wimpey, Tullow Oil, AstraZeneca, Just Eat and RBS.

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