We will start with the EU referendum and get it out the way. The Institute of Fiscal Studies now reckons a vote to leave could mean a further two years of austerity measures, with the consensus assuming the UK economy would shrink following an ‘out’ vote. Today YouGov’s poll showed the vote was evenly split, suggesting the ‘In’ campaign was struggling via poor support for David Cameron.
Moving on, Marks and Spencer reproted a 4.3% rise in underlying profits for the year to 2 April to £689m but they’ve warned profits will be hit by the current attempts to revamp its clothing and home range. CEO Steve Rowe is taking particular aim at M&S’ clothing range, for which prices will drop amongst other things, leading to short term impacts on profits and margins. Shares finished the day little over 10% lower.
Administrators dealing with BHS have recieved a potential saviour in the form of Richess Group; Led by former Mothercare boss and thought to be backed by a wealthy Portuguese family. It was believed that if no success had come by Friday (27th) liquidation talks would possibly start, if so it would cost 11,000 jobs.
Similar to this time last year, Greece have been battling with creditors to unlock further, much needed financing. Successful talks in Brussels today however has released £7.8bn in loans, extended debt repayments and they’ve managed to cap interest rates. Yet this certainly isn’t the first time and unfortunately probably not the last we’ll hear this story, for the country owing 180% of its annual GDP.
Royal Dutch Shell will be making a further 2,200 job cuts as the ongoing oil price crisis continues to hurt the industry. Of these 475 will come from its upstream UK and Ireland business. On a related matter, oil was higher on Wednesday, roughly 0.75% as the FTSE 100 closed. Following on, the main index closed the day higher by 0.7%, as investors continued to put risk back on the table. Asia started strongly, again Euro equities rallied and at the open US stocks have followed suit.