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  1. Unfortunately, we are experiencing login issues at the moment. You can keep up to date via our status page here: https://status.ig.com/
  2. It started off with a vision to revolutionise British banking, intent on disrupting the stagnant high street banking industry by enhancing service levels and investing in state-of-the-art IT software. But now Metro Bank (MTRO) is in turmoil. Not only have five of the challenger bank’s founding directors left within the last year but the firm also pulled a £250 million bond sale citing ‘poor market conditions’, despite offering a yield of 7.5%. As a result, Metro Bank’s share price has tumbled -90% since floating at 2000 pence per share in 2016. The table below shows that Metro Bank’s share price has been the fifth most volatile amongst shares in the FTSE All-Share Index, which captures 98% of the UK’s market capitalisation. Figure 1. Top ten most volatile UK shares over the 360 days Equity 360-Day Volatility (%) 1. Indivior PLC (INDV) 140.795 2. Tullow Oil PLC (TLW) 123.499 3. Kier Group PLC (KIE) 104.882 4. Sirius Minerals PLC (SXX) 99.478 5. Metro Bank PLC (MTRO) 97.377 6. Intu Properties PLC (INTU) 92.466 7. Amigo Holdings PLC (AMGO) 86.754 8. NMC Health PLC (NMC) 81.446 9. Ted Baker PLC (TED) 80.78 10. Allied Minds PLC (ALM) 79.991 Source: Bloomberg, February 2020 If at first you don't succeed, try, try again Failing to secure funding in September last year was a huge blow to Metro Bank as it needed to raise finance to meet the Minimum Requirements for own funds and Eligible Liabilities (MREL) regulation by January 2020. MREL intends to ensure firms have the capacity to take on losses so that they can fail safely, removing the need for public funding. The bank went back to the market in October with an enhanced offer: that they would remove Vernon Hill, the chairman of Metro Bank, and a higher coupon of 9.5%. Metro Bank managed to secure the £350 million it required, but at a large cost. An accounting scandal revealed in January last year was another reason why bond investors demanded such a yield. Analysts have since raised their concerns about the constraints the business faces due to the bond terms at their third quarter results, to which David Arden, chief financial officer (CFO), responded: 'I fully accept that the cost was somewhat elevated, but I think it was the right thing to do for the long term of the bank.' A recipe for disaster: rising costs and subdued growth Whilst Metro Bank has satisfied MREL regulations, for now, there are still difficult times ahead with rising operating expenses, potential fines by two regulators and, as outlined previously, substantial costs to finance their recent debt issue. The lender is still under investigation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over its reporting scandal in January last year whereby it miscalculated loans in risk terms, consequently overstating its capital ratios. As a result, investors have been warned that Metro Bank could potentially face financial penalties which could well be 'significant'. Adding to this, the bank is also being scrutinised by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in a separate investigation. Operating costs that are higher than average in the industry is part and parcel of Metro’s business model. The bank’s core mission is to 'change the way Britain banks' by offering customers access to its branches (now 70 in total) seven days a week. It is this that creates a huge dilemma for Metro. Costs need to be reduced, even more so due to its recent bond issue, but equally the bank must stick to its promise that made customers switch over to them in the first place. In conjunction with this, the firm needs to grow in order to return to profitability which in itself is a significant challenge in the current low interest rate environment. To achieve growth Metro Bank will need to battle on two fronts, against the 'big four' on the high street and the influx of new wave digital banks online. The graph below illustrates the consequence of Metro’s strategy. It displays the cost to income ratio, a measure commonly used to compare banks, for Metro Bank and the FTSE All-share Banks Index (Ex-Metro). We can see that Metro’s higher operating cost base has consistently resulted in a greater cost to income ratio than the average of its peers. Having said this, Metro Bank has recognised the need to focus on cost efficiency and has managed to reduce this ratio in Q3 2019. Encouragingly, the improvement occurred despite adding three new stores during the quarter as well as developing further sites in Liverpool and Manchester – the firm is sticking to its core mission. Figure 2. Cost to Income Ratio: Metro Bank vs FTSE All-Share Banks (Ex-Metro) Source: Bloomberg, February 2020. Virgin Money and Close Brothers Group have been omitted from Index average due to insufficient data Potential for a short squeeze? The market is not optimistic that the challenger bank can turn its fortunes around. Currently, Metro Bank is the sixth most shorted stock in the UK of all short positions that have been disclosed under short selling regulations set out by the FCA, with Premier Oil PLC (PMO) topping the list(1). Note, the requirement to publicly disclose short holdings is when the position concerned equates to 0.5% of total shares outstanding. Still, this is a good indication as to how popular a share is to short. The combined position of the six funds that have reported a short position in Metro equates to -9.59% of total shares outstanding, after Voleon Capital Management recently registered its bet on the company share price to fall on 17 February 2020. It comes after well-known hedge funds Odey and ENA added to their short positions at the start of 2020, with both having had short exposure for over a year. Figure 3. Disclosed short positions in Metro Bank Fund Shares outstanding (%) Reported date 1. ENA Investment Capital LLP -3.22% 05/02/2020 2. Odey Asset Management LLP -2.62% 14/01/2020 3. Marshall Wace LLP -1.38% 29/01/2020 4. Connor Clark & Lunn Investment Management -1.22% 05/09/2019 5. Voleon Capital Management LP -0.62% 17/02/2020 6. Samlyn Capital LLC -0.53% 05/06/2019 Source: Bloomberg, February 2020 Metro Bank 2020 results preview Since listing in March 2016, we have seen a steady decline in the percentage of analysts whom have issued a buy recommendation. The chart below depicts this, as well as the sharp decline in Metro Bank’s share price. The most recent consensus indicates a twelve-month target price of 232.33 pence, calculated from fourteen different analysts. Its share price closed at 205.2 pence on 20 February 2020. Source: Bloomberg, IG, February 2020 Rumours have been circulating since last year, after its reporting miscalculation, that Metro Bank was considered as a takeover target for several large private equity firms. The Financial Times reported at least six takeover firms contemplated whether it would make economic sense to buyout the bank(2). One analyst at Metro’s Q3 results posed this question directly to the leadership team to which they didn’t give anything away but did outline 'should something occur, we will treat it with the right respect because that's the fiduciary duty of the board'. An update on plans to balance growth and cost efficiency will be communicated during its full year results on the 25th February 2020. You can invest in any of the shares mentioned in this article with IG from as little as £3, our newly reduced fee, on the IG share dealing platform. Open a share dealing account. You can open an IG account within a few minutes. Fund your account. Our minimum deposit is £250. Place your first trade. Open our platform and trade over 10,000 shares available through IG. 1. ShortTracker 2. Financial Times This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  3. Fallen around 2.8% today, down to 6772.5 now.
  4. GAW announced record breaking half-year results this morning, here is a few key points: Big jump in profits to £58.6m up from £40.8m Revenue £145.6m, £125.2m previously Royalties receivable up to £10.7m for the half year, a 94.5% increase from the same period last year. Share price up around 7% since open (at the time of posting).
  5. They do make a fair chunk of their operating profit through royalties, but the majority still comes from online/trade sales. Although, royalties is definitely a segment that is growing for them (something they are proud of). It accounted for £6.9m of operating profit in 2017, up to £10.4m now.
  6. Games Workshop Group (GAW) has experienced incredible growth over the last few years. The share price for the wargame manufacturer rose by 101.5% in 2019. Games Workshop is a constituent of the FTSE 250, where it ranked fifth highest in terms of contribution to the index’s total return in 2019. You’d be wrong to think this was a one-off. In 2018 the company came in at eighth and was the second highest performer in the FTSE All-Share Index in 2017, generating a total return of 267.17%, beaten only by KAZ Minerals (KAZ). To illustrate the company’s extraordinary growth, look no further than the chart below. Figure 1: Games Workshop (GAW) market cap and share price Source: Bloomberg, January 2020 The meteoric rise in Games Workshop has coincided with growth in the gaming industry, which has been well documented over the last decade. We have seen Fortnite, a free-to-play online video game, post record sales of $1.8 billion in 2019 – the highest of any game in history.1 Record viewership numbers have followed, with 3.9 million peak viewers tuning into a League of Legends World Championship semi-final, 94% higher than last year’s tournament.2 Millennials really do love gaming. Whilst most of the growth in the gaming industry is attributed to online video games, the board gaming scene has experienced a recent resurgence and growth is expected to continue in the coming years. Arizton, an advisory and research firm, predicts the board games market will grow to £12 billion by 2023, from around £8 billion today.3 The market is forecasted to grow by +8% per year due to the growing audience of gamers and a trickle-down effect to sub-sectors such as board games. Also, as Games Workshop point out, people enjoy the social side of gaming together in-person, as opposed to playing behind a screen. You can invest in Games Workshop Group with IG from as little as £5 on the IG share dealing platform. 1. Open a share dealing account. You can open an IG account within a few minutes 2. Fund your account. Our minimum deposit is £250. 3. Place your first trade. Open our platform and trade over 10,000 shares available through IG. Solving the puzzle: what does the company do? Games Workshop is the largest hobby miniatures company in the world and was founded over 30 years ago. Its most successful brand is the iconic Warhammer product and it also holds the license for The Lord of the Rings Battle board game. With over 400 retail stores globally, it is a truly vertically integrated business as it controls the design, manufacturing and distribution of its product range. Although, the company is keen to outline that it is a manufacturer, not a retailer, with retail stores being used to engage with customers and introduce them to the hobby of painting, collecting and playing with the fantasy miniatures. Rachel Tongue, finance director at Games Workshop, has a tight grip on the financial health of the company. The group’s policy is to pay dividends entirely out of any ‘truly surplus cash’, not out of debt – which should be music to the ears of long-term shareholders. Moreover, the company has had no outstanding long or short-term debt since 2010. Lastly, to further demonstrate this, take a look at the below snippet from the company’s investor relations website: Guess Who: Games Workshop shareholders Institutional investors account for the majority of Games Workshop’s shareholders with investment advisory firms holding 74%, based on publicly reported data. A new addition to this list is Schroders who disclosed on 11 December 2019 that they had purchased 5.6% of the 32.7 million shares outstanding in Games Workshop. Interestingly, the former chairman of the group, Thomas Kirby, still owns 4% of the company. On 27 September 2018, Kirby spooked shareholders by issuing the sale of £20.3 million worth of Games Workshop shares – causing the share price to fall by 4.2% the following day. After the sale, Kirby was subject to a 180-day lockup period for his remaining holdings, which has now expired meaning we may see a reoccurrence sometime this year. Figure 2: Top 10 investors in Games Workshop shares Shareholders Shares owned as % of total outstanding Type of investor 1. JPMorgan Chase & Co 9.14% Investment Advisor 2. Schroders PLC 5.58% Investment Advisor 3. Standard Life Aberdeen PLC 5.54% Investment Advisor 4. BlackRock Inc 5.44% Investment Advisor 5. Vanguard Group Inc/The 4.05% Investment Advisor 6. Castlefield Investment Partners LL 3.97% Investment Advisor 7. Kirby Thomas H F 3.96% Former GAW Chairman 8. Soros Fund Management LLC 2.71% Hedge Fund 9. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP 2.60% Investment Advisor 10. Credit Suisse Group AG 2.59% Investment Advisor Source: Bloomberg, January 2020 The (Trivial) Pursuit of returns: what does 2020 have instore for Games Workshop? Edison Investment Research, the primary broker for Games Workshop, is one of only two firms who do so, with the other being Peel Hunt. Both will be keeping a close eye on the half-year results which will be published on 14 January 2020. The consensus amongst analysts, albeit an extremely small sample size, is that the upcoming year will be another positive one for the group. In its most recent research report posted at the start of November, Edison revised its share price valuation upwards by 10% to £51.76 after a strong five-month trading statement. Since then, the share price has exceeded Edison’s target price by 20.5% (as of 7 January). Looking at the previous four years, revenue and net income and have grown by a compound annual growth rate of 21.4% and 47.7%, respectively. In what will be an interesting next couple of years for the company, Kate Heseltine, an analyst at Edison, projects growth to continue into 2020 and in the following year, as indicated in the below graph. Figure 3: Games Workshop Net Income and Revenue (History & Forecasts) Source: Bloomberg, January, data from 2020 and 2021 are estimates 1. SuperData 2. Esports Charts 3. Arizton This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  7. Research finds that one of the main reasons everyday savers choose not to invest is because they believe wealth management is simply too expensive. We found that the total cost for a ready-made portfolio across other online wealth managers is around 1.1%1, with some charging over 1.8%2. High fees like these eat into your portfolio returns. In 2017, IG partnered with BlackRock to offer savers access to a low-cost wealth management service called IG Smart Portfolios. We recently reduced our management fee for IG Smart Portfolios, to help grow your investments faster. As the table below shows, the average annual total cost of owning one of our portfolios is just 0.72%, and even less if your portfolio value exceeds £50,000 as we cap our management fee at £250 per year. What is an IG Smart Portfolio? IG Smart Portfolios is a discretionary investment management service, which means that we make investment decisions on your behalf to help grow and protect your wealth over the long term. We have partnered with BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, who provide us with investment research which enables us to provide institutional-quality portfolios built to suit your risk appetite. IG's portfolio management team will monitor, manage and rebalance your portfolio to ensure you have the appropriate portfolio for your risk appetite. High fees erode your returns Our management fee is now just 0.5% on the first £50,000 and free thereafter - meaning the maximum management fee you pay each year is £250 per account. There are also other costs to consider before you invest, and we feel it is important to be transparent about these. We use exchange traded funds (ETFs) and the average annual cost for the ETFs we use in our portfolios is currently 0.15%. Also, there is the effect of the bid-ask market spread from when we buy and sell the ETFs used to build and rebalance your portfolio, which we estimate to be no more than 0.07% per year. Paying high fees over extended periods of time will hold back the growth of your investment pot due to a weaker compounding effect. For example, if you invested the same amount in a Smart Portfolio and also in a ready-made portfolio with a leading wealth provider which cost a total of 1.8% pear, assuming annual returns of 6% before fees, the chart below shows how much faster your portfolio could grow with IG over 30 years. Under these assumptions, at the higher cost provider your investments could grow to around £388,962. If you invested the same amount in an IG Smart Portfolio, your portfolio could have grown to £536,433 with the help of lower fees - a difference of £147,481. We are close to having a 3-year track record Since we launched our range of Smart Portfolios in 2017, our portfolio performance has been really encouraging. All of our four multi-asset portfolios have outperformed their respective benchmarks comfortably. Our Balanced portfolio, which currently invests 47% in equities, 49% in bonds and 4% in gold, has averaged +4.6% per year since February 2017, compared to +3.3% per year for its benchmark. The benchmarks we use for our multi-asset portfolios are the ARC Private Client Indices, which track net of fee performance of private client portfolios from wealth management firms such as Coutts, Schroders and Rathbones. You can see a full breakdown of our performance and the performance of the BlackRock models on which our portfolios are based upon here. The only Smart Portfolio that hasn't beaten its benchmark since we launched in 2017 is our Conservative portfolio, which is very risk-averse and invests solely in cash-like securities and bonds. This portfolio is benchmarked against the 3-month Libor rate +1%. Over the longer-term we are confident that this portfolio will deliver returns higher than its benchmark given that it takes on a larger amount of risk. Looking at performance over the last 12-months, our average outperformance against each benchmark was +2.3%. You can see our 12-month performance for each portfolio against its benchmark below: Data runs from 30 Nov 2018 to 30 Nov 2019, net of fees. How to open an account You can open an account in two ways; if you have an IG account already, simply go to MyIG and select ‘Add an account’, or to create a new account you’ll need to go to https://www.ig.com/uk/investments/smart-portfolios and click ‘Create live account’. You can also find out further information about the product on this page. If you have any questions about the product feel free to post them in the comments and I'll be happy to answer them. 1 Research by IG looking at annual management fees across online similar wealth managers 2 Leading wealth provider refers to Hargreaves Lansdown's Portfolio+
  8. Do you have an interest in building long-term wealth through investing? Have you always wanted the chance to ask an expert a specific question about portfolio management, or find out more about IG's and BlackRock's trading strategy for our Smart Portfolios? We are giving you the opportunity to ask your questions directly to our Portfolio Managers here at IG. You can be part of a new article series here at IG called 'Ask the Portfolio Manager' by simply commenting your question below. What is this article all about? We are creating a new article series where the content is driven solely by your questions. Once we have collected your questions we will get them answered by one of our Portfolio Managers. We will then post the article on the IG Investments site and here on the IG Community also. You can ask us anything, but to give you some inspiration questions can be on: IG Smart Portfolios Investing strategies Macroeconomic events/news Product questions Questions on understanding a certain topic/strategy More general questions on IG or the Portfolio manager's themselves So, to get involved just post your question below - even if you don't have an account with IG you can create an account on the community and post a question! Who are IG's Portfolio Managers? Sam Dickens, Portfolio Manager, IG Smart Portfolios: Sam joined IG in 2014 and has worked as a portfolio manager for IG Smart Portfolios, our online wealth management platform, since its launch in February 2017. He has a degree in Economics and has previously worked at Capital Economics - a leading independent macroeconomic research company. He also holds the Investment Management Certificate qualification (IMC) and has passed CFA Level 1. George Bear, Assistant Portfolio Manager, IG Smart Portfolios: George joined IG on the graduate scheme in 2018 and has just recently joined the Smart Portfolio team as an Assistant Portfolio Manager. Prior to his recent move, George worked on the trading floor at IG, as a Sales Trader, and on our premium accounts relationship management team. He is a CFA Level 1 candidate and has a degree in Business with Economics.
  9. Oil prices have surged as Trump aims to cut Iran's oil exports after the White House announced that waivers from countries buying oil from Iran would end in May, a decision made to slash revenue for the Iranian government. Brent crude futures are trading at $74.29 a barrel, up 0.3%, whilst WTI crude reached its highest level since October last year currently trading at $65.95 per barrel. Shares in the US were muted on Monday as the market braces for a busy week of corporate earnings, more than 140 S&P companies are expected to release earnings this week including; Twitter, Tesla, Coca Cola and Microsoft. The Nasdaq and the S&P posted marginal gains of 0.25% and 0.02% respectively. The Dow dropped by 0.33% lead by continued losses of troubled aircraft manufacturer Boeing which fell 1.3%. Asian equities had an overall mixed session as markets re-opened after the holidays, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.4% and the Hang Seng also feel 0.1%. On the positive side, the ASX jumped 0.8% whilst the Topix was up 0.3%. Looking at FX; the Yen was up 0.1% to 111.83 per dollar, sterling is currently trading at $1.2983.5 whilst the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged out a 0.1% gain. Gold remained unchanged at $1,274.1 per troy ounce. Struggling food company Kraft Heinz has announced CEO Bernardo Hees is stepping down in June and will be replaced by Miguel Patrico as the company seeks to reverse its woeful start to 2019. The incoming CEO faces an extremely difficult task to recover from losses and steer the company through an SEC investigation due to its accounting practices. Asian overnight: Crude oil’s surge on Monday powered energy stocks higher in Asia, although Chinese markets overall failed to clock up any gains. Japan and Australia both rose, up 0.3% and 0.8% respectively for the Topix and the ASX 200. The US plan to end sanctions waivers on Iranian oil exports has driven crude prices to new highs for the year, with energy indices rallying sharply in Asian trading. UK, US and Europe: Eurozone consumer confidence and US new home sales are on the macro calendar for today, but the main focus remains on US earnings, with today’s crop including eBay, Twitter, Verizon and Snap. A new record high for the Nasdaq 100 yesterday confirms the strength of the rally, with the Dow and S&P 500 not far behind. South Africa: Global equity markets are trading mostly firmer this morning, in what is day light of scheduled economic data. While trade optimism grows on a deal between the US and China being realised (in the near future), further sanctions on Iran by the US, is leading oil prices to new short term highs. Precious metal prices are mostly lower this morning, while base metal prices are mostly higher. The rand now trades firmly above the R14/$ mark. Tencent Holdings is flat in Asia, suggestive of a flat start for major holding company Naspers. The BHP Group is up 0.3% in Australia, suggestive of a slightly higher open for local diversified miners. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 3pm – eurozone consumer confidence (March, flash): index expected to rise to -7.1 from -7.2 Markets to watch: EUR crosses 3pm – US new home sales (March): expected to fall 6% MoM. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Samsung has announced that it will delay the launch of its folding phone after testing lead to some units breaking, its original launch date was on the 26th of April. British Land has agreed to sell 12 Sainsbury’s stores for £429 million to Realty Income Corporation. Barclays is clamping down on bonuses in its under performing investment bank division in a bid to cut-costs and improve returns. DNA upgraded to hold at Berenberg Petra Diamonds upgraded to buy at Berenberg Smurfit Kappa upgraded to neutral at Goldman Stora Enso upgraded to buy at Goldman BillerudKorsnas downgraded to sell at Goldman Fresnillo downgraded to market perform at BM IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  10. The Dow was up 0.11% as positive news from Boeing boosted the index, the Federal Aviation Administration said that the software update to the 737 Max aircraft is "operationally suitable". The S&P increased marginally by 0.05% whilst the Nasdaq gained 0.3%. Netflix shares have dropped 1% after its earnings report yesterday, after announcing a weaker than expected guidance for Q2 as well as its CMO, Kelly Bennett, announcing her retirement this year. Although, Q1 earnings per share were 76 cents beating analysts expectations of 57 cents and revenue came in at $4.52 billion. China announced that Q1 GDP grew by 6.4%, beating analyst expectations by .1% according to a recent Reuters poll. The positive data caused fluctuations in the Asian market, with the Shanghai Composite gaining 0.4% and the Topix 0.3%. The ASX dropped 0.4% whilst the Kospi remaining unchanged in what was a mixed session for Asian equities. US Crude futures advanced 1.78%, erasing the previous sessions losses, mirrored by Brent Crude futures which also jumped 1.27%. Gold edged 0.1% higher to $1,278.69 per troy ounce. Asian overnight: GDP data from China gave markets a lift overnight, as the Chinese economy grew 6.4%, ahead of the 6.3% forecasted by economists. Chinese equities have continued their strong performance, although the open in Europe is expected to be relatively flat. Netflix stock dropped after earnings were released yesterday, and a weak forecast for the second quarter saw the stock drop sharply. UK, US and Europe: UK CPI, eurozone inflation, the US and Canadian trade balances and oil inventories dominate the calendar today, while Morgan Stanley and Alcoa are expected to publish earnings. Oil prices hit a new high for the year yesterday, as expectations of stronger global demand outweigh the prospect of an increase in supply from OPEC and Russia. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 9.30am – UK CPI (March): prices to rise 1.8% YoY and 0.2% MoM, from 1.9% and 0.5% respectively. Core CPI to rise 1.9% YoY from 1.8%. Markets to watch: GBP crosses 10am – eurozone inflation (March):CPI to rise 0.3% MoM and 1.4% YoY. Markets to watch: EUR crosses 1.30pm – US trade balance (February): deficit to widen to $53.7 billion. Markets to watch: USD crosses 1.30pm – Canada CPI (March), trade balance (February): CPI to rise 1.4% YoY from 1.5%, and trade deficit to narrow C$3.5 billion. Markets to watch: CAD crosses 3.30pm – US EIA crude inventories (w/e 12 April): stockpiles to rise by 7.3 million barrels from 7.02 million a week earlier. Markets to watch: Brent, WTI Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Bunzl reported a 4% rise in growth for Q1 at actual exchange rates, but the firm said that growth slowed in the quarter due to mixed economic and market conditions. Johnson & Johnson reported adjusted earnings in Q1 at $2.10 per share, beating expectations of $2.03. Sales also grew to $20.02bn compared to $20.01bn in the previous year. However, profits were down 14% due to increasing legal costs due to the company fighting lawsuits over its products Xarelto and Talc baby powder. BHP Group said that iron ore production for 2019 would be lower due to the impact of Cyclone Veronica last month, with a fall of 6-8 million tonnes expected. Segro has secured £21.2 million of new headline rent in Q1, but this was down from the £27.3 million of a year earlier. The vacancy rate as fallen to 4.4% since the end of December. Mediclinic said that it expects to report a fall in earnings of around 3.5% for the full year, due to a difficult environment for healthcare. Ackermans upgraded to buy at Kepler Cheuvreux Repsol Upgraded to Hold at Jefferies Brenntag upgraded to buy at Berenberg Demant upgraded to equal-weight at Morgan Stanley Caverion downgraded to reduce at Inderes GTT downgraded to hold at SocGen Nixu downgraded to reduce at Inderes Valmet downgraded to sell at Berenber IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  11. Uber has officially filed paperwork for the company's imminent IPO after observing rival Lyft's share price surge on opening only to fall below its IPO price later on. The ride-hailing company will be listed under the ticker "UBER" on the New York Stock Exchange. You can see how you can trade Uber's upcoming IPO on the IG website here. It was a muted day for US equities on Thursday as the major indices remained little changed ahead of JP Morgan and Wells Fargo earnings announcements later today. The S&P saw a slight decrease yesterday closing 2.62 points lower followed by the Dow which also fell marginally, down 16.5 points. The Nasdaq also fell 0.33%, or 25 points. Asian shares mirrored performance in the US as equities were relatively unchanged ahead of corporate earnings today. The biggest mover was the ASX index which rose 0.9% due to impending cost cuts at Australia's biggest bank. Both the Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite dropped by 0.5% whereas the Topix marginally fell by 0.1%. Brent crude was up 0.28% to $71.03 per barrel whilst US crude increased 0.35% to $63.80. Gold remained unchanged at $1,292.50 per troy ounce. Asian overnight: Chinese trade data was the key event for Asian markets overnight, with exports rising 14.2% in March compared to a drop of almost a fifth in February. However the data also showed another sharp drop in imports, down 7.6%. Overall Asian markets were lower, but the ASX 200 managed a 0.7% gain. UK, US and Europe: Today sees the start of Q1 earnings season in the US, with JPMorgan kicking off the reporting period along with Wells Fargo. Earnings are expected to decline in the first quarter, the first annual decline since Q2 2016. Investors will be watching keenly for the banks’ views on the outlook for the coming months. Aside from this it is a quieter day, with just the preliminary Michigan confidence reading out later. South Africa: The Jse Allshare Index looks set to open marginally lower this morning following a soft close in US equity markets overnight and weaker Asian equities this morning. Chinese trade balance data showed dollar denominated exports rose by more than double that of consensus estimates, although imports were significantly lower than what expectations had predicted. It is an otherwise light day in terms of scheduled economic data. The dollar has renewed some short term strength to see the rand back above the R14/$ mark and and metal prices mostly lower. Tencent Holding trades marginally lower in Asia this morning suggestive of a similar start for major holding company Naspers. The BHP Group trades flat on the day in Australia, suggestive of a similar start for local diversified resource counters. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 3pm – US Michigan confidence index (April, preliminary): sentiment expected to edge down to 97 from 98.4. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Bonmarché has indicated to shareholders that Philip Day's takeover offer undervalues the company heavily and that further discussions are needed to "discuss the future plans for the business for the benefits of all stakeholders". Games Workshop expects pre-tax profits to come in ahead of last year, thanks to higher sales and royalties. Pre-tax profit for the full year is expected to be £90 million, compared to £74.5 million a year earlier. National Express has bought a 60% stake in US firm WeDriveU for $84.3 million. The firm transports 7 million passengers each year through its shuttle services to companies in Silicon Valley. Provident Financial said that it was ‘gravely concerned’ by the lack of response from Non-Standard Finance relating to the questions asked ten days ago by Provident regarding NSF’s bid. Eutelsat upgraded to buy at Berenberg Odfjell upgraded to buy at SEB Equities Tessi upgraded to hold at Kepler Cheuvreux ERG downgraded to add at AlphaValue Micro Focus Downgraded to Equal-weight at Barclays Topdanmark downgraded to sell at SEB Equitie IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  12. The Office of the United States Trade Representative has posted a list of goods that the US is considering to impose tariffs on from the EU, which includes aircraft, motorbikes, cheese and wine. The tariffs on some $11bn products from the EU is in response to the subsidies the bloc gives to Boeing's rival Airbus, which has caused "adverse effects to the Unites States". US equities had a mixed session on Monday coming of the back of a strong growth last week. Both the S&P and Nasdaq edged marginally higher, increasing by 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. However, the Dow dropped 0.26% led by a 5% decline in disaster-struck airline Boeing and a downgrade in General Electric by JP Morgan which caused a 5% decline. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and the Shanghai Composite both rose by 0.3% in what was a mixed session for Asian stocks. Japan's Topix fell off 0.2% whilst the ASX index saw little movement, advancing just 12 points. Theresa May is set to meet Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel today to hold Brexit talks on securing an extension to the 30th of June for Brexit. There will be an emergency EU summit on Wednesday whereby all EU members will vote on the proposed delay to Brexit. Oil prices reached new 2019 highs yesterday due to a rise in Libyan conflict. Brent crude futures rose 1.1% to $71.10 per barrel whilst US crude futures advances 2.1% to $64.40 per barrel. Gold futures edged 0.26% higher to close at $1303.3 per troy ounce. Asian overnight: A mixed affair overnight saw marginal gains in China and Hong Kong counteracted by weakness in Japan and Australia. Continued fighting in Libya sent crude higher once again, with Tripoli airport coming under attack. UK, US and Europe: Meanwhile the pound rose slightly, as markets look ahead to a series of key Brexit meetings. Today sees Theresa May meeting both Merkel and Macron ahead of tomorrow's key EU27 summit where they will consider the UK request for an extension to article 50 until the end of June. South Africa: In another calendar light of scheduled economic data, global equity markets trade mixed, with moves marginal today. In turn we are expecting a flat open on our local bourse this morning. Oil prices trade at yearly highs despite news of a sharp increase in the number of US oil rigs. Escalating tensions in Libya, a major OPEC oil producer is providing some of the cause for the recent rise in oil. Metal prices trade flat to marginally lower today. The rand remains firm, albeit slightly off its best levels of the last few weeks. Tencent is up 0.4% in Asia, suggestive of a positive start for major holding company Naspers. The BHP Group is up 0.3% in Australia, suggestive of a positive start for local resource counters. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar U.S. banks begin to report Q1 earnings today, starting with Wells Fargo and JP Morgan. 8pm - Israeli election results are expected to start coming in Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Sports Direct has increased its equity issuance offer for Debenhams to £200 million, while it continues to consider a formal takeover for the company at 5p per share. Anglo American said that the value of rough diamond sales at its De Beers unit had risen to $575 million in the third cycle of 2019, from $469 million. Australian casino giant Crown Resorts is considering a takeover bid for US gambling company Wynn as the company wrote in a statement "Crown confirms that it is in confidential discussions with Wynn regarding a potential change of control transaction following approaches to Crown by Wynn". The takeover is estimated to cost Crown $7.1bn. Train model maker Hornby has seen revenue fall for the year against last year due to "shortage of stock" the company said in it's trading update. Although, the company added that underlying margins have improved and overhead costs have reduced. Cancom upgraded to buy at Berenberg ProSieben upgraded to outperform at Macquarie Randstad upgraded to overweight at Morgan Stanley Go-Ahead downgraded to hold at HSBC Hays cut to equal-weight at Morgan Stanley Pennon downgraded to neutral at JPMorgan Severn Trent downgraded to neutral at JPMorga IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  13. Lyft, the most recent high profile IPO, shares have seen huge trading activity over the first two days of trading as over 41.5 million shares were traded, well over the 32.5 million offered in the IPO. However, the ride-hailing company saw it's shares slump 12% on its second day of trading down to $69.01, below the official IPO price of $72. The downturn comes after the stock rallied to a high of $88.60 on Friday. US equities surged on Monday due to strong manufacturing data as factory activity rose and construction spending hit 9-month high. The Dow was up 330 points, closing above 26,000 for the first time since February, followed by the Nasdaq which rose 1.3%. The S&P 500 mirrored the strong performance and increased by 1.2%. Asian shares have lost momentum after Monday's equity rally, Hong Kong's Hang Seng and the MSCI Asia Pacific Index were both flat. The ASX 200 jumped 0.4% whereas the Topix index fell 0.3%. Sterling depreciated 0.3% against the dollar to $1.3070 as MPs rejected all four Brexit proposals yesterday with Ken Clarke's customs union proposal narrowly missing a majority by 3 votes. Mrs May has scheduled a five hour cabinet meeting today to discuss the next steps for Brexit. Oil climbed to fresh 2019 highs due to the possibility of further sanctions on Iran, WTI futures rose 0.5% up to $61.89 per barrel whilst Brent crude also rose 0.5% to $69.33. Gold remained little changed at $1,288.36 per troy ounce. Asian overnight: A significantly calmer session overnight saw Asian markets tentatively gain ground, with the residual effect of weekend Chinese PMI gains continued to have an effect. The big overnight event came in Australia where the RBA decided to keep interest rates steady despite calls to cut amid a weakening housing markets and credit squeeze. Despite the fall in housing price, we saw an incredible 18.1% rise in building approvals for February; the highest since 2012. UK, US and Europe: Last night saw the UK parliament once again reject all options ahead of them, raising the likeliness that Theresa May will try to bring her plan back for yet another try. This morning we see the UK construction PMI released, coming off the back of yesterday’s impressive manufacturing figure. In the afternoon, keep an eye out for the US core durable goods figure. South Africa: Global equity markets look to be catching their breathe today after yesterday's strong gains. US Index futures are marginally lower while Asian indices are marginally higher this morning. The dollar is slightly firmer while precious and base metal prices trade mostly lower. The rand, although off its best levels remains firm after recent news that South Africa has managed to avert a credit rating downgrade (for now). Tencent Holdings is up 0.3% in Asia, suggestive of a similar start for major holding company Naspers. The BHP Group is flat in Australia suggetsive of a modest opening for local diversified resource counters. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 9.30am – UK construction PMI (March): expected to fall to 49.1 from 49.5. Markets to watch: GBP crosses 10am – eurozone unemployment rate (February): jobless rate to hold at 7.8%. Markets to watch: EUR crosses 1.30pm – US durable goods orders (February): orders expected to fall 1.2% MoM, but rise 0.2% MoM excluding transportation. Markets to watch: US indices, USD crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades BHP Billiton said that it was reassessing its full-year output and cost guidance following the impact of Tropical Cyclone Veronica. The cyclone has reduced production by around 6-8 million tonnes. Galliford Try has signed an agreement with Homes England to build more than 850 houses across England. Ryanair said that passenger growth was 9% overall for March, to 10.9 million. The US safety authoritiyes are set to investigate Kia and Hyundai vehicles amid thousands of reports of "non-crash fires", which could see mass vehicle recalls. Boeing is set to apply a software upgrade to its disaster-struck 737 Max aircraft model in the next few weeks after initially informing airlines that the new software would be ready by the end of March. Struggling womenswear brand Bonmarché has been bought out by retail billionaire Philip Day in a deal worth £5.7m. Philip Day's holding company issued the following statement "Against the backdrop of the significant decline in Bonmarché's profitability, Spectre believes it is well positioned to provide advice, guidance and support to secure the long term future of the Bonmarché business, its stores and employees". Anglo American upgraded to buy at Deutsche Bank EasyJet upgraded to hold at Berenberg Vallourec upgraded to buy at SocGen Atos downgraded to sell at Berenberg RELX downgraded to add at AlphaValue Deutsche Post downgraded to neutral at Citi Engie downgraded to sector perform at RB IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  14. Shares in Asia fell more than 2% amid growing fears that a recession is on the horizon, Japan's Topix was impacted the most as the index dropped 2.5% at the close. The Hang Seng, ASX 200 and the Shanghai Composite followed and all fell by at least 1%. Numerous reports over the weekend suggested that senior ministers were plotting to oust Theresa May as doing so could enhance support of her Brexit deal, although this has been denied. Mrs May is set to meet cabinet ministers today to update them on her strategy for Brexit. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has concluded that Donald Trump did not collude with Russia during his 2016 Presidential campaign which lead to Trump tweeting "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total Exoneration". Although, the summary by the Attorney General William Barr contradicts Trump's tweet as the findings were "inconclusive". Brent crude plummeted 0.7% from its previous close down to $66.56 per barrel whilst WTI futures slipped 0.9% to $58.52 due to the yield curve inverting, which can be seen as a strong signal that a recession is looming. Gold saw a 0.2% rise to $1,316.51. South Africa: Global equity markets are are trading lower this morning as fears of a global economic slowdown reemerge. US Index Futures are continuing Friday's decline and Asian Indices trade 1.5% to 2% lower on the day. The rand now trades back at its worst levels of the last few weeks. Gold is trading modestly higher, copper is significantly lower and Brent crude has given up around 0.5%. Tencent Holdings is down 3% in Asia, suggestive of a similar start for major holding company Naspers. BHP Group is down 1.3% in Australia, suggestive of a soft start for local resource counters. Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades British satellite operator Inmarsat has been sold for $3.4bn to a private equity consortium. Uber is set to acquire Careem, a Dubai based rival taxi company, for a reported $3.1bn. Majestic Wine is closing down its stores and will re-brand themselves as Naked Wine, CEO Rowan Gormley explained "Naked Wines has the potential for strong sustainable growth, and we will deliver the best results for our shareholders". IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
  15. The EU has indicated that Theresa May needs to get backing from parliament on her Brexit deal before they agree to delay the UK's withdrawal from the EU. The Prime Minister is heading to Brussels today for the European Council meeting to try to force an extension in order to avoid a no-deal scenario. US bank stocks traded lower yesterday after the Fed's announcement that there will be no rate hikes in 2019, Goldman was down 3.4% whilst BoA, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley all fell by 2% or more. In turn, both Dow and S&P traded lower whilst the Nasdaq edged 0.1% higher than its previous close. The Dollar was down against most major pairs due to the announcement, Bloomberg's Dollar Spot Index fell 0.5% to a six-week low. Asian equities closed higher, the MSCI Asia-ex Japan Index was up 0.45% whilst the Shanghai composite was up 0.72%. Gold traded 0.4% higher yesterday to $1,318.05 per troy ounce. Asian overnight: It was a mixed session in Asia, with falls in Australia offset by small rises in South Korea and Hong Kong, while Japan is closed for a public holiday. A dovish Fed provided an initial boost for US markets, but it was not enough to sustain the rally, and equities lost ground. It is expected that Steve Mnuchin and Robert Lighthizer will travel to China next week for further trade talks, but a lack of progress in these talks is beginning to weigh on markets. UK, US and Europe: After dovish turns from the ECB and the Fed, all eyes will be on the Bank of England, while a European Council meeting may discuss the UK’s request to extend Article 50. In addition we have UK retail sales, a Philly Fed reading and eurozone consumer confidence. Looking at Brexit, news broke yesterday that Macron will veto any delay to the Brexit process to avoid any further uncertainty, according to a French media report. If this is true, it puts the UK on the brink of a no-deal Brexit as Theresa May heads to Brussels today in a bid to desperately avoid this scenario. High profile Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg was delighted to hear this news as he tweeted "If true, then Vive la France". Economic calendar - key events and forecast (times in GMT) Source: Daily FX Economic Calendar 9.30am – UK retail sales (February): sales to rise 0.2% MoM and 3.4% YoY. Markets to watch: GBP crosses 12pm – BoE meeting:policy expected to be left unchanged, but Brexit likely to dominate the discussion. Markets to watch: GBP crosses 12.30pm – US Philadelphia Fed index (March): expected to rise to 3.2 from -4.1. Markets to watch: USD crosses 3pm – eurozone consumer confidence (March):confidence to fall to -10.8 from -7.4. Markets to watch: EUR crosses 11.30pm – Japan CPI (February):CPI to be 0.4% YoY and core CPI to hold at0 .8% YoY. Markets to watch: JPY crosses Corporate News, Upgrades and Downgrades Halma said that it expected annual adjusted pre-tax profits to meet markets forecasts thanks to strong growth in its US and UK divisions. Next reported a 2.6% rise in total group sales for 2018, while group profit fell 0.4% to £722.9 million. The retailer said that it saw no effect so far from Brexit, and that a no deal Brexit would lead to reductions in prices if the indicative tariffs are brought in. Ted Baker said that group pre-ta profit for 2018 fell 26.1% to £50.9 million, while sales rose 4.2% to £461 million. Enquest will keep its focus on cutting debt, after earnings in 2018 more than doubled to $716.3 million. Bouygues upgraded to outperform at MainFirst EasyJet upgraded to neutral at MainFirst ING Groep raised to outperform at RBC Ryanair upgraded to outperform at MainFirs Bodycote downgraded to hold at Berenberg Compass downgraded to sell at Goldman Lookers downgraded to neutral at JPMorgan IAG downgraded to neutral at MainFirs IGTV featured video Information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
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