Land Securities expands presence south of the Thames, Primark leads 'challenging' month for ABF
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 87 points higher on Friday, having closed down 3.15% at 6,704.05 on Thursday.
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Land Securities on Friday expanded its presence in south London's Southwark with the acquisition of a 1.6 acre site in Lavington Street, SE1 for £87.1m from a private company. The low density site currently comprises two buildings totalling 128,000 sq ft and has significant development potential, the company said.
Associated British Foods said that its Primark retail arm endured a "challenging" period of trading last month but expectations for annual profits growth remain unchanged. In a statement ahead of its annual shareholder meeting, the FTSE 100 conglomerate repeated its guidance for adjusted earnings per share for the group to be flat for the full year.
AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm MedImmune announced overall survival results for the Phase III EAGLE trial of Imfinzi (durvalumab) in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), who experienced disease progression following platinum-based chemotherapy, regardless of their PD-L1 tumour status. The FTSE 100 drug giant said Imfinzi monotherapy, and the combination of Imfinzi plus tremelimumab, did not meet the primary endpoints of improving overall survival compared to standard of care chemotherapy.
Theresa May’s plans for a crackdown on immigration after Brexit could cause UK companies to go bust and spark job losses across the country, the head of Britain’s biggest business lobby group has warned. Carolyn Fairbairn, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said the measures aimed at restricting low-skilled immigration could have unintended consequences, and warned the prime minister against using “derogatory terms” about EU migrants working in Britain. – Guardian
Cabinet ministers including Philip Hammond and Greg Clark ramped up their opposition to a no-deal Brexit on Thursday, as Theresa May convened a meeting in Downing Street with ministers panicked about the extent of the parliamentary rebellion against her plan. Soft Brexiters such as Hammond, the chancellor, Clark, the business secretary, and David Gauke, the justice secretary, have expressed serious alarm about the mounting prospect of no deal if the vote falls next Tuesday. – Guardian
Mobile network O2 says its services have been restored after a technical fault left millions of customers unable to get online. The company said it would be closely monitoring data services over the coming days and promised to carry out a review to understand what went wrong. – Telegraph
As Donald Trump and Xi Jinping tucked into sirloin steaks and goat’s milk ricotta last Saturday night at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, 7,000 miles away, in windy Vancouver, the US administration was making its move. While Meng Wanzhou was travelling through the Canadian airport for a connecting flight, she was seized by local officials. The US Department of Justice had requested the Canadians arrest the chief financial officer of Huawei, the controversial Chinese telecom giant, for extradition to the US over allegations she had violated sanctions on Iran. – Telegraph
The chief executive of a disability car scheme backed by the taxpayer will receive a near £2 million bonus that was not fully made public, according to a critical report from parliament’s spending watchdog. Mike Betts, who since 2003 has been chief executive of Motability Operations, a company that operates a scheme providing cars for disabled drivers, benefited from a five-year incentive scheme, the full value of which had “not previously been disclosed”, according to the National Audit Office. – The Times
US stocks saved themselves from some serious losses on Thursday, joining the global selloff earlier in the session but recovering somewhat to see the Dow close just 79 points lower.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.32% lower at 24,947.67 and the S&P 500 was 0.15% weaker at 2,695.95, while the Nasdaq Composite managed to bounce back from earlier losses to end the day 0.42% higher at 7,188.26.
Wall Street initially joined in the bloodbath seen across the pond, with London's FTSE 100 closing 3.15% lower at 6,704.05, its lowest level since December 2016, while Europe's benchmark Stoxx 600 index was 3.09% weaker at 343.31, but the Dow - which had shed as much as 785 points during the session - was bolstered by a report released late in the day that said Fed officials had chosen to adopt a wait-and-see mentality after a likely interest-rate increase at their meeting in December.
Worries about a trade war were back at the forefront of investors' minds after Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese telecoms company Huawei was arrested in Canada over the weekend.
Wanzhou now faces extradition to the US over possible violations of sanctions against Iran. China has urged both Canada and the US to "rectify wrongdoing".