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Anglo American confirms takeover offer from BHP, Barclays reports fall in profit

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 25 Apr 2024

(Sharecast News) - London open

The FTSE 100 is expected to open 12 points higher on Thursday, having closed down 0.06% on Wednesday at 8,040.38.
Stocks to watch

Anglo American confirmed on Thursday that it had received an unsolicited non-binding and highly conditional all-share takeover proposal from Australia's BHP Group. The London-listed miner, which did not disclose any financial details, said it was reviewing the proposal.

Barclays Bank reported a 12% fall in first-quarter profit on lower income as customers shopped around for better savings rates. Pre-tax profit for the first three months of the year fell to £2.2bn from £2.6bn a year earlier and slightly better than its own consensus forecast of £2.195. Group income fell 4% to £7bn, while net interest margin - the difference between what the bank charges for loans and savings - fell to 3.09% from 3.18%.

Consumer products giant Unilever maintained its full-year guidance after a solid first quarter, which saw all five business divisions contributing to underlying sales growth. Turnover was up 1.4% at €15bn in the first three months of the year, with underlying sales rising 4.4%, as strong growth in the Beauty & Wellbeing (+7.4%) and Personal Care (+4.8%) made up for a more subdued showing in Home Care (+3.1%), Nutrition (+3.7%) and Ice Cream (+2.3%).

Newspaper round-up

The UK competition watchdog has stepped up its scrutiny of big tech involvement in artificial intelligence startups, asking for comment on three deals by Microsoft and Amazon. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it was examining Microsoft's investment in the French firm Mistral and the hiring of the DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman as head of the US company's new AI division. The watchdog is also scrutinising Amazon's $4bn (£3.2bn) investment in the US AI firm Anthropic. - Guardian

Designer brands including Gucci and Anya Hindmarch have been left millions of pounds out of pocket and some customers will not get refunds after online fashion site Matchesfashion collapsed owing more than £210m last month. Customers who bought designer items prior to the administration are not able to return items or get a refund, according to a report by administrators published on Wednesday. - Guardian

Burberry is at risk of a takeover, City analysts have warned, after losing a fifth of its value since the start of the year. A profit warning from Burberry's Paris-listed rival Kering, which owns Gucci, triggered a slump in the British fashion brand's shares on Wednesday. The 2.5pc drop means Burberry has lost almost 20pc of its value since the start of the year, leaving the business worth £4bn. - Telegraph

Some of London's largest listed companies could see their valuations as much as double by moving to New York, according to a new analysis, underscoring the appeal for companies considering switching their listings away from the UK. Shell, Diageo and British American Tobacco could see their market capitalisations jump if their shares were priced based on the same earnings multiples as their New York-listed peers, AJ Bell, the funds platform, has found. - The Times

Boeing is burning through cash at an unprecedented rate - $3.9 billion in the first quarter or nearly $2 million an hour, as it counts the cost of the Boeing 737 Max crisis. Dave Calhoun, the company's chief executive who is leaving later this year following the Alaska Airlines door panel blow-out, told employees that Boeing found itself in a "tough moment". The latest set of production and safety problems and the intervention again of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ascertain whether Boeing is fit for purpose, has ripped into its financial performance. - The Times

US close

US stocks finished broadly flat on Wednesday after a turbulent trading session, with eyes firmly fixed on corporate results as earnings season gets into full swing.

All three Wall Street's main indices were swinging between gains and losses for the majority of the day, with the Dow finishing down 0.11%, the S&P 500 edging 0.02% higher and the Nasdaq rising 0.10%.

Rising bond yields were also keeping a lid on stocks' gains, with the 10-year US Treasury yield up 4 basis points at 4.646%, as it continues to teeter at levels not seen since November.

In economic news, US durable goods orders rose by slightly more than expected last month.

According to the US Department of Commerce, in seasonally adjusted terms durable goods orders grew at a month-on-month pace of 2.6% in March (consensus: 2.5%). However, the prior month's gains were revised lower, from a preliminary print of 1.4% to 0.7%.

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