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Weekly review

By Duncan Ferris

Date: Friday 08 Nov 2019

(Sharecast News) - London's FTSE 100 ended the week up 57.16 points, closing at 7,358.38 on Friday.
Equity view

Shares in Under Armour tumbled on Monday after the sportswear brand confirmed its accounting practices are under investigation by US authorities.

Gambling stocks came under pressure after an influential group of cross-party MPs called for tighter curbs on online casinos.

Shares of Wright Medical surged after the medical device company agreed to be bought by larger rival Stryker for $4bn.

Mothercare shares sank after the retailer said it was appointing administrators for its UK high street chain, putting 2,500 jobs at risk.

International Consolidated Airlines Group agreed to purchase Air Europa from Spanish travel operator Globalia for €1bn.

Ryanair narrowed its full-year profit guidance as it said passenger growth would be hit by a delay to the first deliveries of its new Boeing 737 MAX planes.

The UK government on Tuesday delayed its decision on whether to allow the takeover of defence company Cobham by US private equity firm Advent International.

Shares of James Fisher and Sons slumped after the marine services provider said it had been hit by a cyber security attack.

Oil and mining services company Weir Group issued a profits warning for its oil and gas division as US customers deferred orders in the third quarter.

Imperial Brands posted a decline in full-year profit despite a rise in revenue, amid "tough" trading in its next generation products.

Xerox was reported to be considering an audacious cash-and-stock offer for larger rival HP worth more than $27.0bn.

SoftBank revealed the damage caused by its investment in troubled start-up WeWork on Wednesday, posting a quarterly loss of £5.0bn, its first for 14 years.

BT was under the cosh as Virgin Media said it had agreed a five-year deal to switch its more than 3 million mobile customers to the Vodafone network once its agreement with BT runs out.

Weaker clothing and homeware sales saw interim revenue at retailer Marks & Spencer fall 2% as the company posted a 17% decline in pre-tax profits in "challenging" conditions.

Supermarket chain Sainsbury's on Thursday reported a 15% fall in interim profits due to the phasing of cost savings, higher marketing costs and tough weather comparatives.

Rolls-Royce forecast full year profits at the lower end of expectations as the cost to fix its troubled Trent 1000 engine blew out by another £800m and a final fix date was delayed until 2021.

Housebuilder Bovis Homes said it had agreed to buy the housing business of Galliford Try for just under £1.1bn.

Luxury car maker Aston Martin Lagonda reported that it swung to a third-quarter loss amid "tough" trading conditions but added that it still expects to meet market expectations for the year.

Games Workshop surged on Friday after it said trading since its update in September had continued "well", with profit and sales ahead of the previous year.

Royal Mail said it was taking legal action to stop a strike by workers over the crucial Christmas period, claiming "irregularities" in the ballot of union members.

Beazley reported an increase in gross premiums written but warned that the impact of recent natural disasters had led to a "difficult claims environment".

British Airways and Iberia owner International Consolidated Airlines Group cut its estimates for capacity growth over the next three years as a result of a weakening global economy, denting its earnings per share forecasts.

Economic news

The UK construction sector continued to struggle in October, with civil engineering declining at the fastest rate for a decade and firms across the board reducing workforces, according to data released on Monday.

New car registrations in the UK fell by 6.7% in October as economic and political uncertainty continued to impact confidence, according to data released on Tuesday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The UK services sector stagnated in October, as companies awaited resolution over Britain's departure from the European Union.

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion could decide to sue the Metropolitan police for unlawful arrests after the High Court shot down an order banning the group's protests in London last month.

The Bank of England held off from any policy changes at its meeting on Thursday, but two members of its Monetary Policy Committee unexpectedly broke ranks and voted for a rate cut.

UK house prices recorded their weakest growth this year in October, according to figures released by mortgage lender Halifax.

Costs on London's troubled Crossrail line have blown out to more than £18bn with its final completion now pushed back to 2021 at the earliest, Transport for London (TfL) said on Friday.

International events

Activity in the eurozone manufacturing sector languished at seven-year lows in October, according to data released on Monday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on Tuesday that the country will begin injecting gas into centrifuges in another clear violation of the 2015 nuclear pact.

America's Secretary of the Navy warned that the "fragile" supply chain for military warships could lead to a dependency on Russian and Chinese companies for critical components.

White House officials are debating removing tariffs on a number of Chinese goods, it emerged on Tuesday.

The International Monetary Fund cut its eurozone growth forecasts on Wednesday as it warned that weakness in the manufacturing sector could spread to services.

China and France signed contracts totalling $15.0bn during a visit by President Emmanuel Macron, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

German factory orders rose more than expected in September, underpinned by solid demand from countries outside the eurozone, according to figures released by Destatis.

Chinese and US officials agreed to phase out the tariffs previously imposed on each other's goods, a Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman said on Thursday.

The plan to phase out tariffs at different stages of a Sino-US trade deal is facing resistance from advisers in the White House, Reuters reported on Friday.

The US administration will not impose tariffs on European car exports next week as it threatened previously, according to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

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