Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

FTSE UNDER PRESSURE: European shares in retreat after report says Chinese officials cast doubt overtrade deal with US...
...but Trump says first stage of deal will soon be signed despite cancelled summit
Pound pushes solidly past $1.29 for first time in days, adding to pressure on FTSE 100
Shell shares fall, dragging blue-chip gauge, as oil giant says its buyback scheme will be slower than expected
RESULTS RUSH: Lloyds Bank profits plunge 97pc after ?1.8bn PPI hit
BT advances after meeting estimates
BA pilot strikes knock 155m off IAG profits
GLOBAL MOVES: Hong Kong crashes into recession after mass disruption from protests
Eurozone growth holds at weak 0.2pc, but beats predictionsof further slowdown
Fiat Chrysler and PSA merge to make worlds fourth-largest carmaker
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:The hero-worship of central bankers has become obscene: democracies must put them back in their box
Blog wrap
Well, global markets slipped into the red today - very aptly for Halloween I must say - so let's hope tomorrow will fare slightly better.
It was good news for the pound, however, which had its best month since the financial crash.
Louis Ashworth will be back bright and early tomorrow for all the business news.
Thanks for following along.
Administrators appointed to Toto Energy
News on another energy supplier...
Steve Absolom and Will Wright of KPMG have been appointed Joint Administrators of Toto Energy.
The Brighton-based firm supplied gas and electricity to approximately 140,000 customers throughout the UK.
The company ceased trading and commenced a government-regulated process last week, with Ofgem transferring all customers to EDF.
M&A activity in third quarter falls to lowest level in nine years
The number of UK M&A deals shrunk by 40pc in the third quarter compared to the second quarter, while deal values for the first nine months of the year have halved, according new figures.
In total, there were 1,216 UK M&A transactions in the latest quarter,representing the lowest third quarter total since 2010, data from Experian showed.
Trump on a deal with the UK...
US Pres. Trump: US Would Be Precluded From Doing Trade Deal With UK Under Some Brexit Circumstances LiveSquawk (@LiveSquawk) October 31, 2019
US Pres. Trump: US Would Not Be Involved With NHS In Trade Deal LiveSquawk (@LiveSquawk) October 31, 2019
Ofgem orders Nabuh Energy to pay ?872,200... plus interest
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Nabuh Energy has been ordered by the energy regulator to pay more than ?870,000 plus interest for failing to meet renewable obligations. It is the fifth supplier to miss the deadline in just two months.
Under the governments Renewables Obligation schemes, suppliers have to demonstrate they have sourced enough electricity from renewable sources to meet their obligation by presenting Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs) to Ofgem by September 1.
If suppliers do not have enough ROCs to meet their obligation, they must make up the shortfall by paying into a buy-out fund administered by Ofgem by August 31.
Nabuh Energy failed to pay into the buy-out fund or present the required number of ROCs by the 31August and 1 September 2019 deadlines.
Nabuh Energy previously gave assurances to Ofgem that it would meet its Renewables Obligations by 31 October 2019, but has since indicated it will not be in the position to make payment by the deadline.
Nabuh Energy is required to make the necessary payment immediately. If it does not, Ofgem will take further action to enforce payment, which may ultimately lead to the revocation of its licence.
European markets close in the red
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Worries about the US-China trade situation has prompted traders to drop stocks today. The FTSE 100 was in the red throughout the session, ending 1.12pc lower at 7,248.38.
Oil and gas and mining stocks put pressure on the blue-chip index, with Royal Dutch Shell suffering the most after posting a 15pc slump in profits. It closed 4pc lower.
The FTSE 250 closed 0.47pc behind at 20,021.50, with the Frankfurt Dax and Paris CAC finishing 0.34pc and 0.62pc, respectively.
European Closing Prices:#FTSE 7248.38 -1.12%#DAX 12866.79 -0.34%#CAC 5729.86 -0.62%#MIB 22693.77 +0.21%#IBEX 9257.5 -0.29%#STOXX 3604.41 -0.44%#SA40 50168.48 +1.09% IGSquawk (@IGSquawk) October 31, 2019
Good afternoon
Thanks for following along throughout the day. I'll be with you for the next few hours, keeping you posted on all the latest.
Over in the US, the S&P 500has retreated from its record close yesterday as traders worryabout Chinas reluctance to push ahead with the trade deal.
David Madden at CMC Markets says that "the comments from Beijing provided a nice excuse to reduce exposure to stocks. The absence of hostile language has equated to only a small retreat."
The S&P 500 is currently0.67pc behind while the Dow Jones is 0.85pc down. The Nasdaq is also in the red, down 0.46pc.
Markets Hub - S&P 500
Thebell has rung, and Im handing over to my colleague LaToya Harding, who will tie up whats happening on European markets today, and bring you any news from after the close. Have a happy Halloween!
Round-up: BA chief beefs with Branson, France and Spain prop up eurozone, pensions with ?55m in tax refunds
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Sir Richard Bransons space tourism firm Virgin Galactic floated earlier this week

Not long now until the closing bell here are some of the days top stories:
British Airways chief pours scorn on Richard Bransonsspace odyssey:After years of trading insults over Transatlantic flying, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh took a swipe at Sir Richards Virgin Galactic spaceflight firm, which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday.
France and Spain keep eurozone economy growing despite slump in Germany:The eurozone economy could dodge recession as stronger growth in France and Spain offsets a slump in Germany.
Pensioners call out HMRC blunders to win record ?55m in tax refunds:Tens of thousands of pensioners have reclaimed more than half a billion pounds in tax that they should not have paid when drawing from their retirement pots, and many others might be unaware they are eligible for a refund.
Money Newsletter REFERRAL (Article)
Heres how that performance has looked
This months gains arent massive in the bigger picture, with the pound having hit a 34-year low against the dollar last month:
Pound on track for its best month in a decade
As things stand, the pound is coursing for its best month in a decade, set to have risen 5.27pc over October.
It surged more than 9pc back in May 2019, during the global financial crisis.
FTSE 100 drops a black spot as Europe struggles
With about an hour of trading left, this is how European markets look:
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Bloomberg TV
Ben Marlow: Takeover bid saves zombie Carpetright
Heres our Chief City Commentator Ben Marlows view on Meditors bid to take Carpetright private:

They couldnt have chosen a better day of the year for a spot of zombie-slaying. Darkness falls across the land, the midnight hour is close at hand and Carpetright has pulled a rescue bid out from under the rug.
The embattled chain has long been one of the undead, a penny stock shuffling around in desperate need of an injection of life despite closing scores of shops and wiping out much of its debt through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) only last year.

He argues that the takeover is about the only way the retailer could have hoped for survival but that the horror story could be far from over.
Read his full analysis here:Halloween bid puts Carpetright zombie out of its misery
City Intelligence newsletter (SUBSCRIBER) Article
WeSleep, or SlothBank?
In case you need cheering up amid the market tumult, here is footage ofMasayoshi Son, the chief executive officer of SoftBank, falling asleep during a panel at the Future Investment Initiative (aka Davos in the Desert) yesterday.
Watch Softbank chief Masayoshi Son fall asleep during a panel at the Future Investment Initiative in Saudi yesterday...
Video: Ali Al-Salim ??? ?????? (@alialsalim) October 31, 2019
The exact moment is here(YouTube).
Bloomberg reports that the room was nearly empty has the WeWork drama blown up the giant funds reputation?
James Titcomb:We are in a SoftBank bubble, not a tech bubble
Indivior shares slides after losing ground to rivals
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Indivior boss Richard Thaxter said the company was acutely aware of the challenges in the marketplace

Shares in drugmakerIndivior have fallen almost 13pc, after the London-listed small-cap firmreported a 19pcslump in third-quarter revenue as cheaper rivals demolished its market share for opioid addiction treatments in the US.
The company, which has benefitted from ramped-efforts efforts by the US Government to crack down on opioid addiction, lost more than half its market share to genericcopycat alternatives sold by competitors.
It is also facing a $3bn fine in the US over illegal marketing practices related to Suboxone, its opioid addiction treatment. Indivior said:

The company believes it has strong defences to the governments charges and will vigorously defend itself. It is not possible to predict with any certainty the potential impact of this litigation on the group or to quantify the ultimate cost of a verdict or resolution.

Chief executive Shaun Thaxter said:

As we look ahead, we remain acutely aware of the challenges in the marketplace and the legal uncertainties.
Trump: People are VERY disappointed by Federal Reserve
The US President has finally tweeted in reaction to yesterdays Federal Reserve rate cut:
....our manufacturers. We should have lower interest rates than Germany, Japan and all others. We are now, by far, the biggest and strongest Country, but the Fed puts us at a competitive disadvantage. China is not our problem, the Federal Reserve is! We will win anyway. Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019
This is pretty standard stuff from Mr Trump, who has called for deep cuts in order to stimulate the US economy further. If rates werecutbelow those ofGermany and Japan, they would be below zero.
My colleague Tom Rees reported yesterday:

The US central bank stepped up its attempt to stave off recession bycutting interest ratesfor a third time this year, as fresh economic data showed shoppers shored up the American economy in the third quarter.
The Federal Reserves policymakers voted to trim rates by 25 basis points to 1.75pc.
Butthey dropped a pledge to act as appropriate to sustain the expansion ina signal to markets that it could hesitate on further action.
Fed chairman Jerome Powell indicated that rate-setters will now sit on their handsunless the economy deterioratesfurther, calling the latest cut insurance against ongoing risks.
Read more:US central bank cuts rates for third time to prop up economy
Private members club faces staff walkout
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

5 Hertford Street, in Mayfair, London

Julian Simmonds
Heres a shot of Mayfair industrial intrigue, via my colleague Simon Foy:

An ultra-exclusive private members' club where City workers rub shoulders with A-list celebrities is facing industrial action by some of its workers.
Kitchen porters at 5 Hertford Street are being balloted to strike over concerns about pay and working conditions, the i reported.
The 18th-century townhouse club charges around ?1,500 a year for membership but reportedly doesn't pay its kitchen porters the London Living Wage of ?10.55 per hour.
Those who frequent 5 Hertford Street include high-profile Brexiteers such as Andy Wigmore, One Direction's Harry Styles and certain members of the royal family. It is also a favourite among City workers.
Robin Birley, a donor to Boris Johnson's recent Tory leadership campaign, runs the exclusive club.

Kitchen staff walked out earlier this year over complaints they were receiving poverty pay.
FTSE 100 extends losses
The FTSE 100s losses reach as high as 1.15pc down in recent minutes, with the company still more than 1pc off amid disappointing earnings and pressure from the pound.
The FTSE 250 is also down, but not as sharply.
Goals Soccer Centres bought by joint venture between Inflexion private equity and Soccerworld
Having explored every avenue, the management of Goals Soccer Centres has agreed to a buyout by Northwind 5s, a vehicle backed by private equity group Inflexion and Soccerworld, a rival five-a-side football operator.
The deal secures the jobs of 750 staff, allowing the football centres to continue operations.
The firm missed its deadline on Monday to filing its annual financial results. My colleague Hannah Uttley reported:

The firmhadestimated that it owed HMRC ?12mfollowing an investigation into accounting errors which revealed it had miscalculatedVAT payments for several years but has now warned thatliabilities could be much higher than this.
Shares were suspended in March when the probe was announced. The firm's removal from the market means it is now effectively a private company, making it far harder for ordinary shareholders and institutional investors to sell their stakes.
Read more:Goals Soccer Centres listing axed as accounting scandal deepens
The takeover transaction will occur through a pre-pack administration in which Deloitte is appointed and the companys assets are acquired.
Goals said:

The board and management of Goals have worked tirelessly over the past eight months with their advisers and their lenders to identify and resolve the companys issues relating to the misdeclaration of VAT and other serious accounting issues, dating back several years. A thorough and rigorous process has been carried out properly and systematically to achieve a final outcome to this very difficult situation.
Every avenue has been fully explored to deliver the best possible outcome for all stakeholders in the business. However, ultimately the only available solution, given the indebtedness of the Company, the unresolved VAT situation and inappropriate accounting, was to accept that the Company needed to delist and for the Company to undertake an accelerated M&A process (AMA Process) to seek a buyer for the business and its assets.

Round-up: Bombadier wing factory sale saves jobs, communities beg for cash machines, Nintendo profit jumps
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

A new Pokemon game will be launching in November

Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty
Here are some of the afternoons top stories:
?385m Bombardier wing factory sale protects thousands of Belfast jobs:Thousands of jobs at Bombardiers wing factory in Belfast have been protected after a US company agreed to buy the business in a $500m (?385m) deal.
Communities in cash desertsbeg for free cash machines:Dozens of communities have been forced to apply for free ATMs to be installed after the soaring cost of providing these machines led many operators to start charging.
Nintendo profit jumps as cheaper Switch Lite consoles prove popular:A boom in sales of Switch Lite consoles helped Nintendo more than double its profit in the three months to the end of September as it readied for its busiest period.
Technology intelligence - newsletter promo - EOA
Altria takes $4.5bn hit to Juul investment
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Juul is one of the biggest e-cigarette brands

Brendan McDermid/REUTERS
Tobacco giant Altria has taken a $4.5bn hit from its investment in e-cigarette-maker Juul Labs. Reuters reports:

The US tobacco company bought a 35pcstake in the fast-growing e-cigarette rival for $12.8bn last year, hoping to make up for falling sales of traditional cigarettes.
But Juul faces the possibility of its products being removed from the market over concerns that they are fueling the so-called epidemic of youth vaping, a major factor that led to the collapse of Altrias merger talks with Philip Morris last month.
Altria on Thursday cited a number of reasons for the charge, including higher chances of USFood & Drug Administration removing flavored e-vapor products from the market as well as bans in some cities and states in the United States.
How vaping is enveloping the world
Guardian: Boris Johnson to rule out new fracking
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Anti-fracking protesters at the Cuadrilla fracking site near Blackpool

Christopher Furlong/Getty
Prime Minister Boris Johnson may be posed to rule out further fracking in the UK as part of his election campaign amid rising calls for a ban, the Guardian reports.
The paper says:

The effective ban is widely expected to emerge within days, and green groups believe the victory for common sense could help kill off the industry after years of public protest over the environmental risks.
Johnson said on Wednesday that the government would make an announcement on the UKs fracking industry following a review into a series of recent earthquakes at a shale site in Lancashire.
Read more:Boris Johnson poised to rule out new fracking, say sources
US business barometer falls to four-year low
Another sign of potential weakness in the US economy: the MNI Chicago business barometer, a form of purchasing managers index (PMI), has fallen toits lowest level since 2015 and nearly much longer than that.
The reading of 43.2 where a score above 50, based on a survey of businesses, indicates growth is worse than all expectations. New orders fell, prices paid rose at a slower pace and production fell, all indicating contraction. However, deliveries rose slightly.
US Chicago PMI Oct 43.2 (est 48.0; prev 47.1) LiveSquawk (@LiveSquawk) October 31, 2019
Wall Street falls at opens
A weak start to trading in the US, with stock markets edging off the record highs they hit yesterday after the latest Federal Reserve rate cut.That trade war report has really had an impact...
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Bloomberg TV
Read more here:US central bank cuts rates for third time to prop up economy
Pound holds above $1.29
The pound has held onto its rise, still at around $1.295 on its best day in more than a week.
Heres more on what currency strategists are saying about the currency:Market report: Steer clear of sterling, warns Goldman
Trump: China and USA working on new site to sign trade deal phase one
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Chinese officials are said to have cast doubts over the likelihood of a full US-China trade deal

A potentially bit of encouragement for the markets Donald Trump tweets:
China and the USA are working on selecting a new site for signing of Phase One of Trade Agreement, about 60% of total deal, after APEC in Chile was canceled do to unrelated circumstances. The new location will be announced soon. President Xi and President Trump will do signing! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019
That comes after China cancelled theAsia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, which had been set to serve as a meeting place from Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Read more:Chile cancels hosting APEC and climate summit after unrest
Round-up: Hong Kong in recession, Crest takes a hit, Carpetright could go private
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

A protester runs through a cloud of tear gas during a protest in Hong Kong

Athit Perawongmetha/REUTERS
Heres a lunchtime round-up of some of the days biggest stories:
Protests and trade war push Hong Kong deep into recession:Hong Kongs economy tumbled into its deepest recession since the financial crisis in the three months to September as protests closed shops, deterred tourists and slashed business investment.
Crest Nicholson takes a hit from volatile sales and crackdown on building materials:Tighter rules on flammable building materials and volatile sales will dent profits at housebuilder Crest Nicholson.
Carpetright could be taken private if takeover bid goes ahead:Embattled Carpetright could be taken private if its investors back a possible bid from its biggest lender, a hedge fund run by a millionaire poker player.
Investor newsletter REFERRAL (article)
Gold pushes back over $1,500 on trade-war fears
On the topicof gold, the precious metal is back over the psychologically-important $1,500-an-ounce mark amid new trade-war worries.
As a side note, courtesy of the World Gold Council, here are the biggest holders of gold reserves worldwide, for your delight and delectation:
Boodles teams up with African miner to produce ethical gold
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

The single origin gold comes from a mine in Mali

Martin Morrell
Luxury jeweller Boodles has joined forces with an African miner to produce ethically mined gold in what it claims to be the first collaboration of its kind, my colleague Hannah Uttley reports. She writes:

The family-run jeweller, founded in 1798, is working with miner Hummingbird Resources and metal refiner Betts Metals to produce earrings, necklaces and bracelets using so-called single mine origin gold.
The supply chain of gold is notoriously difficult to trace because it is generally melted together from a number of different sources.
Single origin gold purports to be more ethical because it allows consumers to trace the gold to a single mine which must adhere to a number of standards.
Read more:Jeweller Boodles teams up with African miner to sell ethically sourced gold
US consumer spending softer than expected
US consumer spending growth in September was lower than expected, at 0.2pc versus estimates of a 0.3pc gain. Augusts figurewas revised up to 0.2pc, however.
Makeup ingredients-maker Elementis falls as earnings outlook falls
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Elementis makes ingredients for many cosmetic products

Ian Oliver Walsh
Shares in chemicals and personal care products group Elementis, listed on the FTSE 250, have fallen today, pulling back from losses of more than 5pc down to sit about 2.5pc off currently.
The company said it expected self-help actions to result in an improved second half performance, broadly in line with expectations.
Jefferies analysts said they expected a downgraded consensus on the companys performance after some revisions to the groups guidance, but maintained a buy rating on its shares.
Chief executive Paul Waterman said:

Although there are no signs of improvement in global economic conditions, the fundamentals of our business remain strong.
Correction: Thomson Reuters is listed in both Toronto and New York, and is headquartered in Toronto (not London, which is where Reuters is based) I have corrected my 10:52am post to reflect this. Apologies for the error, and thank you to the reader who pointed it out!
Full report: Carpetright shares halve after low offer
Another full report on one of the days big stories, from my colleague Simon Foy. He writes:

Carpetright shares halved on Thursday after the embattled retailer said it was in talks about a possible takeover at a huge discount.
Meditor, the companys biggest shareholder, had made a 5p-a-share offer almost half the 9.1p closing price on Wednesday.
Carpetright narrowly managed to avoid collapse last year and was forced to shut 92 stores and cut rents through a rescue deal to stay afloat.
Shares plummeted 48pc to 4.8p, below Meditor's offer price and valuing the company at just ?14.6m.
Read more here:Carpetright shares halve on lowball offer
Nintendo beats estimates for revenues
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

A Nintendo Switch game console

Nintendo beats estimates for second-quarter profits, after strong sales of games for its Switch console.
The groups operating income rose to 66.8bn yen (?475m) in the three months to the ended of September. The Japanese company left its full-year profit and revenue forecasts unchanged.
The standout performance was for racing game Mario Kart Tour, which was downloaded 124m times in the month after its launch. The Switch Lite console, launched in September, has sold 1.95m units.
Analyst: Trade war progress could hinge on US economic strength
Reacting to this mornings latest trade war twist, OANDAs Edward Moya said:

US stocks are coming off yesterdays record highs after Chinese officials threw shade on President Trumps impulsive nature, also voicing skepticism over reaching a broader deal that will tackle structural issues.
Future negotiations are likely to see an uphill battle that will depend more on the strength of the US economy. President Trump will want to avoid any economic weakness on the campaign trail when election time nears.
With sub-100K job growth and GDP coming in below 2pc, a Fed that will remain on hold until possibly March, we could see President Trump refrain from a hardline approach in the coming months.
A big part of the economy that is struggling is business investment and that will not get any favors if Trump decides to ramp up the trade war.

Heres a reminder of how yesterdays US GDP figures landed:
And heres how GDp growth under Mr Trump compares to other recent presidents:
General Election round-up
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn gives his election campaign speech

Dan Kitwood/Getty
Logo: General Election 2019
In case the General Election is weighing on your mind, here are some things to read:
Live:General Election latest news: Corbyn to use election speech to attack entrepreneurs, as senior rabbi urges tactical votes against Labour
Brexit Party could help Tories in general election by not fighting hundreds of seats
Lib Dems will stand aside for Dominic Grieve, as polling predicts a Boris Johnson majority
Tories set to be worst hit by Twitters ban on political adverts
Brexit election | The best comment and analysis
Think Tank: The economic formula that wins election
Logo: The Think Tank
October 31. October 31. That date seems politically significant, but I just cant remember why...
Oh yes Halloween is here, and Britain will still be a member of the European Union 24 hours from now. With Boris Johnson failing to deliver on his signature pledge, were now headed for an election in which Brexit will be the (acknowledged) elephant in the room.
Even as I type, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is laying out his partys election vision. But have economics already dictated what the results will be. For todays think tank, Russell Lynch reports:

Predicting elections is clearly a tough game. But what if there was a magic formula that helped you get a result?
One US political scientist, Larry Bartels, crunched the numbers a few years ago on presidential elections since the war, and came up with an equation that took into account factors such as how long the current administration had been in office, and the economic circumstances of the man in the street in the immediate run-up to the poll.

Russel has unpacked the formula, and applied it to the UK. He says the results put Mr Johnson on the front foot but are far from certain.
Read more here:Is this the magic formula that could help Boris Johnson win the general election?
Two potentially interesting changes on the London stock markets, which may be of future interest:
Greene King has delisted following its takeover by Hong Kong real estate giant CKA.
CYBGhas been officially renamed as Virgin Money UK as part of a rebrand that took effect yesterday. Its ticker symbol on the exchange with shift to VMUK.
Government to announce Carney successor before he steps down
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is stepping down on January 31

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
A government spokesperson has said it will announce a successor to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney before his term ends on January 31, but said an announcement was not imminent.
The Canadians exit day now coincides with the day the UK is due to exit the EU following the latest Brexit extension.
Economics Editor Russell Lynchyesterday broke the story that the naming of Mr Carneys successor may face a further delay. He wrote:

Current Chancellor Sajid Javid has assured MPs on the Treasury Select Committee that they will have opportunity and time to scrutinise the successful candidate. The committee is unlikely to have the chance to do this before Britain heads to the ballot box.
The eventual Governor will replace Mr Carney in Threadneedle Street on February 1, the first day after the UK leaves the European Union following the latest extension from Brussels.
Any further delays could spark questions over whether a replacement will be ready in time and could force the Government to beg Mr Carney tostay on past the deadline. He has already agreed to two extensions and had originally intended to go in 2018.
Read more:Bank of England Governor appointment set to be delayed until after general election
Reuters: China trade group chief says Beijing could cut tariffs on US farm products
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

US agricultural exports are a key focus of trade talks with China

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Another intriguing trade-war-linked report, this time from Reuters.
The agency reports that a Chinese trade group chief has said Beijing could remove extra tariffs placed on USfarm products since last year, to clear a pathfor importers to buy up to $50bn worth, rather than directing purchases centrally.
Reuters says:

USPresident Donald Trump said earlier this month that China had pledged to spend between $40bn and $50bn on USagricultural products annually as part of a deal to end a trade war that broke out last year.
But the demand has become a major sticking point in the bilateral trade talks, as Beijing wants to buy based on market conditions instead of committing to a large figure and a specific time frame.
What the government can do is to remove the extra tariffs, both sides need to do this. Then let the companies make the purchases based on their own will, and based on market rules, Cao Derong, President of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-Products (CFNA) told Reuters in an interview late on Wednesday.
Read more here
Housebuilder Crest Nicholson suffers sharp drop after profit warning
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Crest Nicholson sponsors a steeplechase at Cheltenham

Julian Herbert/PA
Shares in housebuilder Crest Nicholson are on track for their biggest drop since March, after the company issued a profit warning in an unexpected update today.
The company cut its outlook for the current financial year to between ?110m and ?120m ?10m lower than previously expected and compared to a ?176.4m profit last year, a fall of roughly a third.
The group blamed its problems on the sales environment, including weakness in the London housing market that has been widely blamed on Brexit uncertainty.
Crest said:

During the second half of FY2019 the company has experienced a volatile sales environment in some of its regional businesses, driven largely by ongoing customer uncertainty relating to Brexit and the economic outlook in the UK.

The announcementfollows the appointment of a new leadership team headed by chief executive Peter Truscott, who joined last month. The company added:

The new leadership team has conducted a thorough review of the Company's current strategy and operations. Peter and the team have identified significant opportunities to generate value for shareholders over the medium term.

Mr Truscott said:

While current market conditions remain uncertain, the prospects for Crest Nicholson over the medium term remain highly attractive.

Shares fell as much as 11pc earlier, and are now down about 7.5pc, leaving the group as the biggest FTSE 250 faller.
Thomson Reuters shares rise after revenues grow
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Thomson Reuters is one of the worlds biggest news and data providers
New York and Toronto-listed media firm Thomson Reuters has beaten analysts estimates for its earnings per share in the third quarter, with organic revenues increasing by 4pc to $1.4bn.
The company said its profits had increased significantly, from $173m during the same period last year to $262m this year,due to a revaluationof its holdings in Refinitiv, its former data wing which the London Stock Exchange is hoping to merge with.
Jim Smith, its president and chief executive, said:

New products are resonating with customers and helping us improve retention rates, in some cases at historically high levels.
We are encouraged by our nine-month performance, which positions us to achieve our full-year 2019 and 2020 targets. And, the stronger and more stable characteristics of our overall business model should enable the company to sustain an attractive value creation model for shareholders, one that is driven both by growth and returns.
Eurozone GDP reaction: bloc is still slowing
Capital Economicss Andrew Kennington has offered his reaction to those unexpectedly-good, but still meagre, eurozone GDP growth figures. He writes:

The slightly better-than-expected third-quarter GDP figure for the euro-zone does not alter the fact that the region is expanding at only a very modest pace. And forward-looking indicators suggest that it is likely to slow further in the fourth quarter...
...Looking ahead, none of this changes our view that the euro-zone economy as a whole is slowing and will probably expand at a feeble quarterly pace of around 0.1pcfor the next year or so. That in turn will keep the pressure on policymakers, both in Frankfurt and in national capitals, to do more to boost demand.
The Think Tank | Read more
Foxtons shares pull back from slump
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

Foxtons shares were on track for their biggest drop since August 2018 at one point this morning
Foxtons shares have pulled up after dropping their most since August 2018 earlier today, after releasing an update for the third quarter.
The London-focused real estate company said its revenue had fallen by 7pc to ?32.5m in a statement this morning, putting it off 5pc for the year to date.
The company said:

Ongoing political uncertainty continued to weigh on volumes and prices in the London residential sales market. A combination of lower volumes, falling prices and fewer high value sales meant that sales revenue for the quarter was down 15pc to ?8.4m (Q3 2018: ?9.9m). We believe this to be a resilient performance given the market backdrop.

Peel Hunt analysts kept the company at a sell rating, saying the impending General Election was likely to cast further shadows of the housing market. They wrote:

Ongoing self-help measures and a potential stamp duty cut may offer some respite, but the short-term outlook is clouded by the recently announced general election.
When will we know whether Germany has entered a technical recession?
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

With eurozone growth figures holding up, questions still remain over whether Germany, Europes biggest economy, shrunk for a second successive quarter.
The country will release its latest quarterly GDP figures on November 14. It fell by 0.1pc in the three months to the end of June asecond fall will mean it has entered a technical recession. Analystss expectations have not yet been gathered, but the Economist Intelligence Unit has predicted a 0.1pc fall.
German GDP
The countrys ruling CDU party has repeatedly resisted calls to loosen its purse strings in order to stimulate growth in the country, which has seen its key industrial sector wane recently.
Read more: ECB boss Mario Draghi hits out at German critics for lacking courage
FTSE 100 losses touch 1pc
The FTSE 100 has fallen as much as 1pc today, heading for its biggest drop since October 2, when more than 3pc was wiped off the in indexs worst day since the EU referendum.
Then, as now, it is global fears have the biggest impact, although a strong pound is doing the blue-chip index no favours.
Future shares leap after buying Country Life publisher
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

TI Media publishes specialist titles such as Country Life and Homes & Gardens

Jacob King/PA
Shares in media outfit Future are leaping on the FTSE 250 today, after the company bought TI Media, the publisherof Country Life, Homes & Gardens and Womans Weekly magazinesfor ?140m.
My colleague Vinjeru Mkandawire reported yesterday:

The FTSE 250 company, which is behind nichebrands such as technology website Gizmodo UK and trade magazine Music Week, announced the acquisition of TI Media on Wednesday.
Future said the deal will add key interests to its portfolio including wine, golf, equestrian and gardening. The acquisition will also bolster Futures presence in home, cycling, consumer technology and country sports.
The deal, which is expected to complete next Spring,adds TI medias 41 brands to Futures portfolio of 220 titles globally.

Jefferies analysts said:

TI Media is a heavy print asset, and we have confidence that Future can grow its digital revenues, which will deliver attractive margins. On top of this, the cost synergies proposed by management are attractive.
Read more:Country Life magazine publisher snapped up by Future in ?140m deal
Euro bloc beats forecasts
That figure has beaten estimates, and means year-on-year growth fell slightly to1.1pc. Euro area leaders (and ECB policymakers) will probably give a sighof relief at those numbers.
Output across the 19-country bloc rose 0.2pc during the three months to the end of September, showing some continued strength despite the industrial slump in Germany, its largest economy.
#Eurozone #GDP growth was limited to 0.2% quarter-on-quarter in third quarter, same as in Q2 & down from 0.4% q/q in Q1. Year-on-year growth slowed to 1.1% in Q3 from 1.2% in Q2 & 1.3% in Q1. Consensus had been for even weaker growth of 0.1% q/q in Q3 Howard Archer (@HowardArcherUK) October 31, 2019
Good luck, Christine Katie Martin (@katie_martin_fx) October 31, 2019
Last month, the ECB unveiled a major package of new measure to stimulate growth in the eurozone, including lower interest rates and the return of quantitative easing.
Surveys show consumers and businesses in the bloc are feeling increasingly pessimistic however, so it is possible that the slowdown hasnt bottomed out just yet.
Read more:Factory recession infects German jobs market in threat to eurozone economy and Mario Draghis legacy
Break: Eurozone growth holds steady, beating expectations
Global stocks slip as markets are shaken by fresh trade war fears

The eurozone is barely above stagnation

Just in: GDP growth in the eurozone remained at 0.2pc in the third quarter, beating expectations. Economists has expected growth of 0.1pc.
That is unlikely to shakecalls from incoming European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde for countries with fiscal headroom to increase spending in order to stimulate growth. In comments on French radio yesterday, she specifically called out Germany and the Netherlands, saying:

We share a currency, but we dont share much budgetary policy for now...
...Those that have the room for manoeuvre, those that have a budget surplus, thats to say Germany, the Netherlands, why not use that budget surplus and invest in infrastructure? Why not invest in education? Why not invest in innovation, to allow for a better rebalancing?
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