Thursday, 30 March: Not entirely true, but the 329 year old insurance market Lloyd’s of London has announced it will open a subsidiary base in Brussels to reduce the possible impact of the Brexit on business. It looks to be ready for the beginning of 2019 and is one of the first minor casualties of the decision to leave the EU by Britain. Of course we expect some short to medium term pain as institutions look to manage the Brexit alongside ourselves. Lloyd’s isn’t the only one, with speculation around JP Morgan looking to relocate to Dublin, but its early days yet. Worryingly….
At the open the FTSE lacked direction and momentum with European shares broadly imitating this sentiment. Ashtead Group was one of the main winners on the day as the firm continued to benefit from trump’s pro-coal executive order from last week. Miners kept the FTSE’s losses modest, with Antofagasta shares up 2.94% on the day to top the index, which closed 0.06% lower @ 7,369.52. As we write American shares have began more positive as the Dow Jones sits 0.3% higher, with the S&P close behind, as oil has just tipped over $53 p/bbl.
John Lewis looks set to change under Paula Nickolds, the new MD, who recognises the challenging time for the business as well as the fact she has inherited a healthy business. She believes in shops, so that’s a good thing, one area of change is the amount of own brand and exclusive products she wants to stock shelves with, the aim being at least half of all products to be just that.
Samsung has now unveiled its Galaxy S8 flagship phone, looking to regain some of the market share it lost after the Note 7s disaster. The new model will hopefully avoid spontaneous-combustion which damaged the firm’s reputation last year but this didn’t stop a strong FY set of results.