The FTSE 100 is called to open 6 points higher at 7458. U.S. and European stock futures edged up as traders took in the latest China data on the coronavirus, which showed a daily increase in Hubei cases that’s smaller than yesterday’s, though still bigger than before the methodology changed. In Asia, Japanese shares fell, while equities in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul advanced. Both global stocks and bond yields are set for weekly advances on optimism about a V-shaped economic recovery from the virus. The yuan continues to trade stronger than 7 per dollar, and oil is above $51 a barrel in New York. Treasuries ticked higher and the yen was little changed.
Upgrades and downgrades
- Alstom Cut to Neutral at Goldman
- Gem Diamonds raised to market perform from underperform at BMO
- RELX cut to hold from buy at Berenberg
- Eurofins Scientific Rated New Sell at Deutsche Bank
- L’Oreal Cut to Underweight at Barclays
- Nibe Raised to Hold at ABG
- Pernod Ricard Cut to Equal-Weight at Barclays
- Remy Cointreau Cut to Underweight at Barclays
- Sobi Raised to Buy at Handelsbanken
- Astrazeneca revs $6.66bln small miss. EPS 89c est 98c.
Expects unfavourable impact from coronavirus lasting a
few months. Maintains dividend.
- RBS operating profit before tax of £4.23bn with Q4 comfortably beating estimates, ROTE of 9.4% with 9 11% targets in the medium term (BARC yesterday said they would struggle to meet 10%), Q4 impairments £160m which is less than expected, cost reduction above targets, final dividend of 3p plus a 5p special so they yield ~7.5% here and have paid 22p in dividends in 2019.
- Segro Plc saw the value of its properties on the European mainland surge last year, outstripping its U.K. holdings and helping boost profit and reported adjusted pretax profit for the full year of GBP267.5 million.
- RELX remains a very strong business, but upside now looks limited and more potential is offered by peers who have sold off on coronavirus fears, Berenberg says in a note cutting its rating on the exhibitions and business information firm to hold from buy.
- Credit Agricole Q4 rev €5.12B vs €5.08B with net income €1.66B vs €1.48B. Capital markets and investment banking saw 50% increase in rev. Dividend upped to €0.70. CET1 ratio 12.1% vs 11.7%.
- Just Eat Takeaway STM Fidecs is offering 3.8m JET shares at a price range of £78.06, Thursday’s closing price was £79.65, = 2% discount. Seller will be subject to a 90-day lockup, UBS is sole bookrunner.
- Vodafone sentiment; India’s top court rejected a plea by mobile carriers seeking more time to settle billions of dollars in back-fees and began contempt proceedings against the companies. (BBG)
- EDF sees 2020 Ebitda EU17.5 billion to EU18 billion, estimate EU17.63 billion. Divi better than expected with EU0.48, estimate EU0.33. FY revenue EU71.32 billion, estimate EU70.35 billion.
- Renault FY rev €55.54B vs €55.32 with op income €2.11B vs €2.65B. Reports net loss €141M vs expected €1.77B profit. Dividend cut to €1.10 from €3.55 last year. Sees op margin 3-4% in 2020.
- WH Smith exposure to the coronavirus should be fairly limited if the illness is locally contained – RBC maintains O/P. Shares off 9% since Dec high, partly due to concern around the epidemic’s impact on travel, Notes WHSmith has nine directly run stores at Changi airport, Singapore and 55 directly run units in Australia.
- Marks & Spencer is closing two of its clothing distribution centres in a move that puts almost 700 jobs at risk according to The Guardian.
- Vivendi FY EBITDA EU1.53b, estimate EU1.61b. FY revenue EU15.9b, estimate EU15.7b. Net profit of EU1.58b & EBIT EU1.38b. Plans IPO of UMG in early 2023 at latest, copany says could use UMG proceeds for substantial buybacks.
- Wirecard AG posted full-year revenue that beat the highest analyst estimates, at a time when the German payments processor struggles to move on from reports over alleged questionable accounting methods. Investors