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FTSE Rises, Sterling Stays Higher Even After Weaker PMI Data

12/16/2021 | 06:39am EDT

Sterling Stays Higher Even After Weaker PMI Data

Sterling stays higher even after a key survey showed growth in manufacturing and services activity slowed in December due to tighter restrictions to contain coronavirus infections. The IHS Markit/CIPS U.K. services purchasing managers' index fell to a 10-month low of 53.2 in December from 58.5 in November and the manufacturing PMI dropped to a three-month low of 57.6 from 58.1 in November. A level above 50 signals an expansion in sector activity. Economists polled by the WSJ expected a services PMI of 56.0 and a manufacturing PMI of 57.5. GBP/USD and EUR/GBP are little changed after the data at 1.3296 and 0.8510, respectively, as investors' main focus Thursday is the Bank of England's interest rate decision at 1200 GMT.

 
Companies News: 

Walker Crips Swung to 1H Pretax Profit; Flags Challenges Ahead

Walker Crips Group PLC reported Thursday a swing to a pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022, though it said it still has a difficult year ahead.

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FRP Advisory 1H Pretax Profit Fell; Declares Dividend

FRP Advisory Group PLC said Thursday that pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022 fell, though revenue rose and it declared a dividend payout.

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Egdon Resources 1Q Revenue Materially Rose on Wressle Outperformance

Egdon Resources PLC said Thursday that revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 rose, matching revenue for the entirety of fiscal 2021.

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Simec Atlantis Energy Shares Fall After Reductions to Headcount, Monthly Operating Costs

Shares in Simec Atlantis Energy Ltd. fell Thursday after it said that it has taken actions that will reduce headcount and monthly operating costs.

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Hurricane Energy's Net Free Cash Increased Significantly; Shares Rise

Shares in Hurricane Energy PLC on rose Thursday after the company said its net free cash has increased significantly from October to November.

Domino's Pizza Agrees to Investments With Franchisees; Lifts Mid-Term Outlook

Domino's Pizza Group PLC said Thursday that it has reached a resolution with its franchisees to make strategic investments of around 20 million pounds ($26.5 million) to improve growth, and raised its medium-term expectations.

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United Talent Agency Acquires MediaLink for $125 Million

United Talent Agency said it has acquired MediaLink, a marketing and media consulting firm that is owned by Ascential PLC, for $125 million, as the Hollywood talent firm seeks to ramp up its marketing practice.

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Aviva to Increase, Extend Share Buyback to GBP1.0 Bln

Aviva PLC said Thursday that it will increase and extend its share buyback program to 1.0 billion pounds ($1.33 billion).

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Schroders Is in Talks to Buy Significant Stake in Greencoat Capital

Schroders PLC said Thursday that it is in advanced talks to buy a significant stake in Greencoat Capital, but cautioned that there is no certainty any deal will be struck.

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Boohoo Downgrades FY Guidance on Covid-19 Uncertainty

Boohoo Group PLC said Thursday that it has downgraded its guidance on full-year net sales growth and its adjusted Ebitda margin due to increased consumer uncertainty related to the new Covid-19 variant.

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Gym Group Says It Is Performing in Line With Market Views for 2021

Gym Group PLC said Thursday that it is performing in line with full-year market expectations in terms of its key profit measure of adjusted Ebitda less normalized rent.

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Robert Walters Expects 2021 Pretax Profit to Beat Market Views

Robert Walters PLC said Thursday that it expects 2021's full-year pretax profit to be comfortably ahead of current market expectations.

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Walker Crips Swung to 1H Pretax Profit; Flags Challenges Ahead

Walker Crips Group PLC reported Thursday a swing to a pretax profit for the first half of fiscal 2022, though it said it still has a difficult year ahead.

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ITM Power Says 1H Revenue Rose

ITM Power PLC said Thursday that it expects to report that revenue rose sharply in the first half of fiscal 2022, and that its contracts backlog increased at year end.

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McBride Shares Down After It Expects Wider Adjusted Loss in 1H

McBride PLC shares fell in early trading Thursday after the company said it expects to book a wider loss for the first half of 2021 due to rapidly rising costs as a result of supply-chain issues and inflationary pressures.

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Trackwise Designs Shares Dive on Heavily Discounted Equity Issue

Shares of Trackwise Designs PLC fell 38% on Thursday after the company said it is planning to raise up to 7.0 million pounds ($9.3 million) via a heavily discounted equity issue and will use the money to fund capital expenditure as well as working capital.

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Hunting Expects Break-Even 2021 Ebitda After Improved 4Q

Hunting PLC said Thursday that a notably-improved final quarter of 2021 has met its expectations with a broadly break-even earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization result expected for the full-year.

 
Market Talk: 

UK's Economy Is Likely to Contract in December and January

1048 GMT - The latest purchasing managers survey data add to evidence that the Covid-19 Omicron variant has set back the economic recovery, Pantheon Macroeconomics' senior U.K. economist Gabriella Dickens says. It is highly likely that the economy will contract in both December and January as consumers pull out spending in services, she says. Pantheon forecasts a 0.2% on month drop in December followed by a further 0.1% drop in January, but that assumes no additional restrictions are brought in. "The decline will be much steeper if the government brings in new rules on social distancing or household mixing, and in the unlikely worst case that all non-essential shops and consumer services businesses are forced to close again, GDP would drop by about 6%," Dickens says.

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BOE Won't Wait Long Before Raising Rates if it Holds Back on Thursday

1018 GMT - Even if the Bank of England leaves rates unchanged at 0.1% when it announces a decision at 1200 GMT, policymakers are "unlikely to be able to wait too long before acting," says RBC Capital Markets. RBC expects the BOE to raise rates by 15 basis points on Thursday, but many in the market expect rates to be left on hold once more. However, the uncertainty caused by the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 means the BOE may hold back for now, RBC says. Omicron may delay the start of a rate-rise cycle but won't "knock it off course completely," it says. The yield on 10-year gilts rises 2.7 basis points to 0.754%, according to Tradeweb.

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UK Economy Slows Sharply in December as Omicron Hits Services Spending, PMI Shows

0959 GMT - Economic activity in the U.K. eased significantly in December due to tighter pandemic-related restrictions and heightened uncertainty around the coronavirus Omicron variant, IHS Markit's purchasing managers index survey shows. The composite PMI stood at 53.2, a 10-month low, down from 57.6 in November. The slowdown was focused on the services sector, with firms reporting a steep drop in spending by households; while growth in manufacturing also eased but held up better, the data shows. "With Covid-19 infections set to rise further in coming weeks due to the spread of the Omicron variant, and more restrictions being introduced, the pace of economic growth looks likely to continue to weaken as we head into 2022," IHS Markit's chief business economist Chris Williamson says.

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Boohoo's 3Q Update Seen as Disappointing; Shares Drop

0818 GMT - Boohoo Group's update for 3Q was weak and disappointing, Jefferies says. The London-listed, online fashion retailer's revenue growth of 10% is well below the guided 2H run-rate of 20% and 30%, Jefferies says. Boohoo's full-year Ebitda guidance has been cut to GBP128 million at the mid-point, the U.S. bank notes, 35% below its estimates. Jefferies has a buy recommendation on the stock and a target price of 430 pence. Shares are down 15% at 117.30 pence.

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; Write to Sarka Halas at sarka.halas@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

12-16-21 0639ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ASCENTIAL PLC -0.93% 297.6 Delayed Quote.-26.04%
ATLANTIS SE 0.00% 1.03 Delayed Quote.-57.79%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / BRITISH POUND (AUD/GBP) -0.08% 0.56267 Delayed Quote.5.60%
AVIVA PLC 1.42% 434.8 Delayed Quote.-19.48%
BOOHOO GROUP PLC 3.67% 80.18 Delayed Quote.-34.92%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / BRITISH POUND (CAD/GBP) -0.07% 0.619402 Delayed Quote.6.31%
DOMINO'S PIZZA GROUP PLC -0.74% 324 Delayed Quote.-29.38%
EGDON RESOURCES PLC -1.33% 3.7 Delayed Quote.155.17%
EURO / BRITISH POUND (EUR/GBP) 0.11% 0.85001 Delayed Quote.1.85%
FRP ADVISORY GROUP PLC 0.96% 158 Delayed Quote.17.91%
FRP HOLDINGS, INC. 2.63% 60.88 Delayed Quote.5.33%
HUNTING PLC 2.34% 327.5 Delayed Quote.93.56%
HURRICANE ENERGY PLC -1.64% 9 Delayed Quote.136.84%
INDIAN RUPEE / BRITISH POUND (INR/GBP) -0.04% 0.010254 Delayed Quote.3.70%
ITM POWER PLC -6.06% 291.6 Delayed Quote.-26.90%
MCBRIDE PLC -0.28% 35.1 Delayed Quote.-41.50%
MEDIALINK GROUP LIMITED 0.00% 0.145 Delayed Quote.-9.94%
ROBERT WALTERS PLC -5.45% 520 Delayed Quote.-32.47%
SCHRODERS PLC -0.14% 2856 Delayed Quote.-19.78%
SIMEC ATLANTIS ENERGY LIMITED -6.79% 2.47 Delayed Quote.56.83%
THE GYM GROUP PLC 1.96% 197.8 Delayed Quote.-22.28%
TRACKWISE DESIGNS PLC -1.59% 62 Delayed Quote.-34.74%
US DOLLAR / BRITISH POUND (USD/GBP) -0.02% 0.794489 Delayed Quote.7.88%
WALKER CRIPS GROUP PLC 0.00% 29 Delayed Quote.-13.43%
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