Given the recent reliance on U.S markets for a sense of direction, its little surprise that the lemmings of Europe appear to have put trading on hold this morning, with Indices broadly flat ahead of housing and consumer confidence figures across the pond. The vacuum in European markets was highlighted by a morning tweet noting yesterday’s FTSE
Eurofirst 300 closing volumes, the 4th lightest of the year so far and pretty shocking turn out for November, with today looking similarly poor.
In the absence of any fresh stories, the upcoming thanksgiving weekend is going to make for a long slow moustache twisting end to Movember for Europe unless we can shake of this recent sheep and shepherd theme.
Spirits are low at Remy Cointreau this morning, following forecasts of a “substantial” drop in annual profits as a slowdown in China and weak demand from Europe hampers sales. H1 operating profit slumped 7.3% to 132.7m and the firm expects substantial double digit declines for the year. Many luxury alcohol brands have been hit by government sanctions on business gifts in China, with cognacs and fine wines hugely popular in prior years. Rather unsurprisingly the mood from the markets was far from cheery, sinking over 7% as investors swallowed the news.
In the UK, Britvic flew out of the blocks this morning after posting an 18.8% hike in operating profits and outlining plans to roll out its Fruit shoot brand in 41 US states in 2014. The firm has signed a long term bottling deal with PepsiCo for manufacturing and distribution across America. Britivic remain on track to complete on a £30 million cost cutting plan by 2016. The stock was up over 5% in early trade.
Severn Trent reported a 5.8% drop in underlying profits but remains on track to meet full year expectations and raise the interim dividend by 6%. On balance the stock was slightly lower, but customers will cheer confirmation that price increases have been kept below inflation for the year, especially in the context of the much documented surge in energy bills.
Repsol stock moved higher after Spanish and Argentinian governments agreed a preliminary compensation package for its controlling stake in YPF. The Argentinian government expropriated the stake last year without paying a cent.
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