European markets are expected to rebound asoil prices rising to one-month highs

MARKETS LIVE: London shares look to stage a recovery

London shares have rebounded after yesterday’s sharp sell off as oil prices rose to one-month highs.

The FTSE 100 shot 30 points higher at the opening bell, having closed down 67.05 points lower at 7436.42 yesterday, as the pound moved above $1.30 against the dollar.

Crude oil prices have risen overnight as Russia’s Rosneft, the country’s largest oil producer, is the latest name in the market to lend its support to extending OPEC-led production cuts.

This latest seal of approval has pushed both Brent crude and WTI to test resistance levels of $53 and $50 dollars respectively, the latest hurdles in the commodity’s recovery from early May’s five-month lows.

European markets are expected to rebound asoil prices rising to one-month highs

European markets are expected to rebound asoil prices rising to one-month highs

European markets are expected to rebound asoil prices rising to one-month highs

11:38
Leaders from OPEC will meet in Vienna next week to decide on oil output

Market watchers are growing more confident that OPEC, Russia and other big producers will extend cuts of almost 1.8 million barrels per day until the end of March 2018. US producers are not party to any agreements capping production.

Since the beginning of March, crude prices have swung from over $56 a barrel to under $47 as market participants were divided over the impact of rising output from the United States and other oil producers, including Russia.

Brent crude is up 28 cents at $52.79 this session.

10:56
AIM listed Revolution Bars falls over 30 per cent

Shares in Revolution Bars have plummeted after the bar and restaurant chain said adjusted underlying earnings would miss expectations this year.

Revolution blamed the five new Revolucion de Cubas it has opened in the past year or so, saying that although underlying sales are on track, the bars are taking longer to reach full profitability than originally anticipated.

Paul Hickman, analyst at Edison Investment Research, said:This is really the first negative news from Revolution since its IPO in March 2015, breaking a record of smooth growth since then.

Based on what’s been said, it appears more of a growth setback than anything fundamental. It may be early evidence in the pubs and bars space of consumers rotating away from premium offers.

‘However, the message is ambiguous: on one hand the company says that like-for-like sales remain in positive territory without compromising gross margins, but on the other, new sites are taking longer to mature. It is not confirmed whether today’s announcement is connected with the surprise departure of the finance director two weeks ago.

‘However, the fact that cost headwinds are now seen as affecting profit guidance given as recently as February does raise some questions on that guidance.’

10:33
And the fallers – Hikma bottom of the pile

10:32
FTSE 100 up 36 points at 7,472.3 – here are the risers

10:12
Entertainment One shares pop higher

Entertainment One has announced that it will produce 117 new episodes of the popular children’s TV show Peppa Pig.

Production has already begun on the new series, which will bring the total number of shows to 381.

The Canada-based, UK-listed media group has also signed new licensing deals which will extend the global domination of the cartoon character.

Peppa Pig toys are to be launched in Brazil, while licensing in Russia ‘has accelerated at a significant pace’ with more than 40 partners signed across the toy, games and confectionery categories.

‘Peppa Pig’s global appeal continues apace as we bring new content to audiences across the world,’ said chief executive Darren Throop.

‘With a new series in the pipeline, best-in-class partners and strong marketing and experiential initiatives in each territory, we continue to nurture the long term success of this global preschool phenomenon.’

Entertainment One raked in $200million (£161million) of Peppa Pig product sales last year, helped by retail licences in America.

Animation studio Astley Baker Davies will produce the new series, which is scheduled to launch in spring 2019 and will secure ‘a pipeline of Peppa Pig content over the following four years’, the company said in a statement.

Last week Entertainment One revealed that it will take a £47million hit to profits as part of a restructuring programme.

The firm said a £27million one-off cost will come as a result of the reshaping of its film division, which includes transitioning its physical distribution activities towards a ‘digital content focused business model’.

Entertainment One will also book a £20million charge from renegotiating a new distribution arrangement.

The company has been the subject of takeover approaches, with ITV abandoning a £1billion pursuit of the firm last year after its initial offer was snubbed.

09:53
Pound holding onto yesterday’s gains, up 0.5 per cent against the dollar at $1.3005
09:50
Anglo-South Africa finance giant Investec eyes Dublin banking license

Investec is eyeing a banking licence for its Irish business following Brexit but will wait to implement its contingency plans until the rules governing the UK’s departure from the EU become clearer, its boss has said.

The Anglo-South African lender and asset manager is considering converting the Dublin branch of its London bank into a subsidiary to ensure its continued access to Europe’s single market after Brexit, Stephen Koseff said.

09:38
Failure to raise interest rates may encourage families to rack up debt problems, warns former MPC member

The Bank of England’s failure to raise interest rates could stoke consumer debt and put millions of households at risk, a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee has warned.

Speaking to building societies ahead of last week’s decision to keep the Bank Rate on hold at 0.25 per cent once again, Andrew Sentance criticised the committee’s failure to sufficiently debate the merits of a rate rise.

He said: ‘When I was on the MPC there was quite often dissent and disagreement between members on what the right course of action was and I think that’s quite healthy.

‘We haven’t seen that sort of debate and it feels like the committee has settled down into a view of the world that’s not necessarily addressing the long-term issues.’

Read the full story here.

08:56
Just Eat faces competition probe into Hungryhouse takeover

Online takeaway ordering firm Just Eat is to face a full-blown investigation into its takeover of rival Hungryhouse amid concerns the deal could curb competition.

The Competition and Markets Authority said its initial probe into the acquisition – worth up to £240million – found the two firms were close competitors because of the service they offer and their reach across the UK.

On Friday the watchdog said that the merger could lead to worse terms for restaurants using either company, adding that the deal will now undergo an in-depth merger investigation after Just Eat failed to address its concerns.

The group announced its takeover of Hungryhouse last December.

The CMA said: ‘Both companies provide online takeaway ordering services. These give restaurants the opportunity to reach a wide pool of people, as well as offer customers the convenience of choosing from a large range of takeaway providers in one place.

‘Following its initial investigation into the merger, the CMA has found that the companies are close competitors because of the similarity of their service and their broad geographical coverage.’

Both firms offer online takeaway ordering services, which allow restaurants to offer customers the convenience of choosing from a large range of takeaway providers in one place.

Just Eat agreed to pay £200million to Delivery Hero for Hungryhouse and will shell out another £40million, depending on performance.

The deal came as part of an acquisition spree by Just Eat as it looks to expand, with the group also announcing the acquisition of Canadian firm SkipTheDishes alongside the Hungryhouse takeover.

08:51
Leon on the march

Healthy fast food chain Leon is planning to launch in the US after receiving a £25million cash injection from a Swiss private equity firm.

The restaurant group has secured backing from Spice Private Equity, which now holds a majority stake in the company alongside co-founder John Vincent and long-term investor Active.

Leon currently has 46 restaurants in the UK and two in the Netherlands, and the fresh investment will see the firm open its first outlets in the US in the second half of 2017.

Mr Vincent said: ‘To be successful Leon needs the right purpose, the right leaders and the right investors.

‘To become the world’s leading natural fast food company, we need partners who share the vision and can help make it happen.

‘We are fortunate to have been approached by many potential partners.

‘The decision to say yes to Spice was because of the high regard I have for the individuals of GP Investments, who manage Spice.

‘I am also delighted that Active, our existing investor who has been so helpful to our growth, is participating in this fundraising too.’

08:43
There are still plenty of results this morning

Men’s suit retailer Moss Bros has posted solid first quarter results, but warned that it will face ‘economic headwinds’ this year as consumer confidence wanes.

The group said like for like sales rose 2.3 per cent in the 15 weeks to May 13, with total sales up 3.7 per cent.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals was the worst performer on the FTSE 100 on Friday morning, dropping as much as 7 per cent as the wider market cautiously recovered from yesterday’s falls.

The Jordanian drugmaker cut revenue forecasts in a trading update this morning, after its efforts to introduce a new generic competitor to GSK’s Advair asthma treatment hit a setback.

UK-listed residential landlord Grainger reported a ‘robust’ trading performance across its rental portfolio as it benefited from record levels of renting among people in England.

It said net rental income grew 11 per cent to £20million in the first half of the year, up from £18million last year, and pre-tax profits rose 13 per cent, to £41.2million from £36.6million a year ago.

08:38
The market is a little quiet this session after all the action earlier in the week

Unlike Tuesday to Thursday, which saw a parade of heavy-hitting UK data, this morning’s economic calendar is rather barren.

That leaves investors free to mull over Trump’s various misdeeds, and whether or not they want to get back on board a set of Western indices that, in the grand scheme of things, have not travelled too far from their highs.

08:25
Much of the stock market recovery is to do with oil

Oil markets bounced on the hope it will be agreed at the Opec meeting in Vienna next Thursday that production cuts will be extended to March 2018.

Crude Oil prices have risen overnight as Russia’s Rosneft, the country’s largest oil producer, is the latest name in the market to lend its support to extending OPEC-led production cuts.

This latest seal of approval has pushed both brent and US benchmarks to test resistance levels of $53 and $50 dollars respectively, the latest hurdles in the commodity’s recovery from early May’s 5-month lows.

08:21
Relief all around this morning after a couple of difficult sessions

There’s a general feeling of relief that the US-led sell-off didn’t accelerate last night.

Instead, all the major US stock indices managed to post modest gains despite earlier weakness.

It may be too soon to sound the all-clear but so far investors are doing exactly what they’ve done for the past eight years, using any significant pull-back in equity markets as a buying opportunity.

08:20
FTSE 100 up 32 points at 7468.6

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