Wednesday, 13th April: Last month Chinese data put fear in to investors as they announced exports tumbling at their worst level in over six years. Move on one calendar month and data from China overnight surprised investors once more, but this time in a good way. Exports returned to growth for the first time in 9 months, rising to 11.5% from a year earlier. This is ahead of the 10% analysts expected but is it too early to look at signs of stabilisation for the world’s second-largest economy?
The UK’s leading supermarket announced a move back in to profit and its first growth in quarterly sales for 3 years. The group announced a pre tax profit of £162m over the 12 months to the end of February, calling it a “significant progress” against last year’s £6.3bn loss. However, optimism didn’t flow through to investors as the shares fell more than 8% over the course of the day after Dave Lewis, the supermarket’s chief executive warned that the market remains challenging, deflationary and uncertain. Tesco has been going through a period of cost-cutting initiatives under Lewis. Only last week it was announced that Tesco is preparing to sell the loss-making Giraffe restaurant, acquired during Philip Clarke’s tenure as chief executive in 2013. Tesco remain the UK’s leading supermarket with a 28.1% market share (according to Kantar data for the 12 weeks to 27 March 2016). The shares are up more than 25% year-to-date but ended the day -7.79%, extending falls during the afternoon to close at 181p.
Despite the heavy falls of Tesco throughout Wednesday, the FTSE 100 spent the day in the green, with Anglo American and Standard Chartered ending the day with double digit gains. The FTSE closed +1.93%, behind European peers where the CAC closed +3.32% and the DAX +2.71%. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones are both trading higher whilst the US dollar is making gains against the euro, pound and Japanese yen.