Thursday, 03 March: Morrisons have shown bounce back ability and will return to the FTSE 100 just 3 months after their relegation. It maybe isn’t the same as returning to the Premiership at the first attempt but it follows the supermarkets reversal in fortunes as their shares have risen almost 40% in the last 3 months. Sports Direct, Smiths Group, Aberdeen Asset Management and Hikma Pharmaceuticals will all be dropping out of the FTSE 100 on March 21, with newly formed Paddy Power Betfair, Mediclinic International and Informa the other companies joining Morrisons’ upmarket movement.
Similar to the US presidential race, the Brexit chatter won’t seem to go away at the minute, although at least we only have to wait until June for a decision on the latter. BMW are the latest to weigh in on the argument, parent firm to Rolls-Royce and Mini, the German car manufacturer has issued an email to all UK employees stressing the ‘significant benefit’ the company receives from the UK’s EU membership. The UK is the only country in the world that represents all three of BMW’s Group brands with manufacturing operations. They’re not the first, nor will they be the last company who doesn’t have a vote but who will make their opinions clear, without doubt in an attempt to influence some votes come June.
The UK’s influential services sector recorded its slowest rate of growth since March 2013 during last month. The service PMI fell to 52.7 from January’s 55.6. Importantly it still sits above 50 indicating growth but it sat below estimates of 55 and follows weak manufacturing and construction PMIs released earlier this week. The slowdown is believed to have been exacerbated from increasing Brexit fears and global market volatility. Despite the raft of weak data, conservative pricing by the market has given some protection to the main indices and currency, sterling currently up against the dollar 0.66% @ $1.4173. The FTSE 100 closed down 0.27% today, many investors already looking ahead to Friday in anticipation of US jobs data. Admiral topped the index up 9% after beating expectations with a 5.1% rise in pretax profit as well as raising the dividend target.
Dominio’s Pizza, a brand many of us are familiar with have posted strong results for last year driven by digital sale growth, lower fuel costs and a record low cheese price….. (Hence the title pun, I’m sure there was a better cheese based one out there but I couldn’t think of it). Online orders rose circa 29% from last year and app based orders grew by 41%. Their strong cash position has enabled a dividend hike and share buy-backs to resume. Despite the positive update shares finished the day down 0.9%.