This morning, the FTSE 100 gained 0.2%, boosted by mining stocks as gold, base metals and iron ore prices rose.
British American Tobacco dropped 7.6% after it announced it would take a USD 31.5 billion impairment charge due to the reassessment of the value of some of its U.S. cigarette brands. It warned of challenges in the US market due to illicit products but expects earnings to align with its 2023 guidance.
Ocado Group gained 2.5% after J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock to "neutral" from "underweight."
Rio Tinto has revealed plans to commence production at its Simandou mine in Guinea by 2025, with an initial capital funding of USD 6.2 billion out of a total USD 11.6 billion. The mine is expected to ramp up to an annual capacity of 60 million tonnes, with Rio Tinto's share equating to 27 million tonnes per year. The project, operated as the Simfer joint venture, is seen as a significant new source of high-grade iron ore and is expected to contribute to the decarbonisation of the steel industry and Guinea's economic development.
Meanwhile, Shell shortlisted at least four potential buyers, including China National Offshore Oil Corp and Vitol, for its refinery assets in Singapore. The company aims to complete the divestment by the end of 2024 and has asked the shortlisted bidders to submit formal offers by the end of February.
The Weir Group gained 4.3% after it announced a 20% operating margin target for 2026 and upgraded its savings target to GBP 60 million. The company confirmed its 2023 guidance remains unchanged and is on track to deliver a 17% operating margin for the full year.
Today, investors will be assessing the November S&P Global/CIPS construction Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) data, due later.
Things to read today:
- Economists don't expect a Fed rate cut before July at best (Financial Times).
- Can I stay in Britain? (Intelligencer).
- How Russia blew an $11 billion hole in Western oil sanctions (Bloomberg).