Defence sector disruption?


Markets Overview:


FTSE 100 called to open +35pts at 7365, extending last week’s rising channel rebound with an overnight test of the 22 May highs of 7373, getting as high as 7396. Bulls need a meaningful break above 7375 for a chance of rallying towards 7500. Bears require a breach of 7345 to undo the overnight gap higher. Watch levels: Bullish 7380, Bearish 7340


Calls for a positive open stem from a rebound in Asian stocks amid on an abatement in trade tensions as Trump struck a deal with Mexico, calling off his tariff threat. This bolstered already positive sentiment from Friday’s US jobs report, which disappointed, ratcheting up optimism of a Fed rate cut to sustain US growth. After multiple rate hikes, this would make global monetary policy that little bit more accommodative, to the glee of risk assets.

Stronger USD from improved risk appetite hurting Gold, well off its highs. Oil holding around recent highs. Copper off its lows. Miners (positive in Australia) may like China trade data showing a surprise growth in exports (versus a consensus decline), although this may be countered by negative Imports growth suggesting slower domestic consumption. Stronger USD and thus weaker GBP helping FTSE.


In corporate news this morning;


Defence names like BAE Systems, Meggitt, Cobham, Rolls Royce, Senior, Ultra Electronics and QinetiQ may be impacted by news of state-side giants United Technologies and Raytheon agreeing to an all-share merger of equals which would disrupt the sector.


Sky News reports the Chinese owner of Club-Med – Fosun - in talks to acquire the tour operating business of Thomas Cook, which could pave the way for a break-up of a group which had been looking at disposing of its airline business to keep the rest of the over-leveraged group afloat.


Ferguson Q3 ongoing revenues +6.2% (USA +8.4%; +2.7% organic), gross margin +20bp; trading profit +2.3%; $500m share buyback; FY ongoing trading profit seen in-line with half-year guidance and analyst forecasts.


Miners may be sensitive to mixed messages from China trade data which showed stronger than expected Exports, but weaker than expected Imports.


Avanti Communications says confident about future but there remains some risk around the delivery of budgets and future refinancing of debt facilities.


AstraZeneca says Phase 3 study of Farxiga for diabetes helps prevent kidney complications.


Vectura says CEO stepping down at end-Jun, replaced by CFO until successor found.


In focus today:


Trump calling off his Mexcian tariff threat is sure to garner much attention in terms of reducing the risk of a global trade war. Chinese Trade data is also likely to be hotly debated with mixed messages via exports stronger than expected, but imports weaker.


Data-wise, UK GDP (9.30am) is expected to post slower YoY growth in April (1.7% vs 1.9% prev.) and another month of negative growth (-0.1%). The same is anticipated from Industrial and Manufacturing Production.

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