• European shares flat
• Altice buying Cablevision
• FTSE still inside its sideway range
• Pound flat after retail sales rise as expected
• US stocks to open flat before Fed
More bid activity in the telecoms sector did little to encourage large position-taking in European markets before the Fed announcement on Thursday.
Shares of Altice jumped as much as 10%
on news the Dutch telecoms company has agreed to acquire US cable-TV operator Cablevision for $17.7bn. There was little excitement in the UK telecoms sector; shares of BT and Vodafone were both lower while shares of Sky were up by half a percent. The deal opens up a whole new market for Altice but it is main reason for being is defensive and that may be putting off investors going into the wider sector. With Charter Communications having recently bought Time Warner Cable, the whole cable TV industry is in consolidation mode to increase firepower in the fight against internet TV competition from Netflix, Amazon and soon Apple.
The FTSE 100
index has been in a tight trading range leading into the Fed rate decision so having tested the lower bound in the early part of the week; it’s now dropping away from the upper bound.
Industrials were top fallers, led lower by Weir Group and Smiths Group
after O&G peer Rotork said it had seen an increase in project deferrals and cancelations with business in August particularly weak. Consumer goods was the top performing sector with cigarette companies Imperial Tobacco and British American Tobacco top risers after a broker reiterated its outperform rating on the former.
The British pound was essentially flat after UK retail sales
excluding auto rose by 0.1% as expected in August but a lower revision to July’s number meant the annual pace slowed to 3.5% from 3.8%.
US stocks are expected to open mixed
with little movement baring an expected drop in Oracle shares
after the tech company narrowly beat earnings estimates but missed sales targets. Revenue declined by 2% year-over-year but would have risen 7% in constant currency terms in another sign of the effect of the strong dollar.
Earnings are expected from Rite Aid and Adobe Systems on Thursday
USA pre-opening levels
S&P 500: 1 point lower at 1,994
Dow Jones: 1 point higher at 16,740
Nasdaq 100: 3 points lower at 4,383.
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