Tuesday, 4th April: As Britain’s trading future with the EU remains a mystery for now, a new potential relationship has came out of the woodwork, again. At a meeting in New Delhi, the finance ministers of Britain and India discussed the future of a new trading relationship between the two. However, the pair is restricted from carrying out any formal negotiations regarding a bilateral free trade agreement until Britain has officially become independent from the EU. An Indo-British trade agreement has actually been on the agenda for a while now, but Brexit seems to have encouraged it further. Back in 2010, Cameron had expressed that one of his priorities was to deepen ties with India, which at the time was weak, especially compared to India’s relationship with China. According to the Economist, trade was low because of the mediocre manufacturing taking place in both Britain and India, but they’ve both come a long way since then, and Brexit could be the perfect motivating factor to finally get things going.
A different relationship which took a turn in the opposite direction this week has been the one between Apple and Imagination Technologies. Imagination Technologies shares were up 5.1% at the start of the day at 108p after facing the wrath of the market’s reaction to the announcement at the start of the week that Apple were to cut ties with the company to become less reliant on them by creating their own substitute. On Friday, Imagination shares were 268.25p, and on Monday they plunged by around 61.6% to 103p. The product causing all the chaos is a graphic chip, which Apple have been using in their products ever since the first iPod was introduced. Apple is Imagination’s biggest customer and account for approximately half of their revenues. Imagination’s future seems uncertain, but they time to attempt any plans to salvage the business as Apple won’t actually be departing for another two years.
Whilst in technology we have witnessed the power that giants like Apple have over the survival of a smaller company like Imagination Technologies, the opposite is continuing to take place with supermarkets. As supported by Kantar, many of the big supermarkets have continued with their struggle against grocery inflation, which has carried on growing by 2.3% in the 12 weeks to March 26th, larger than the 1.4% rise which took place in the 12 weeks to February 26th. Within the FTSE350 sectors, food and drug, of which four out of the six constituents are the larger supermarkets mentioned below, were near the very bottom end. Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrison’s are still suffering as a result of this inflation, whilst Aldi and Lidl have been enjoying gaining more market share and reportedly reaching record highs. Kantar also warned that they don’t see this rise to ease any time soon, meaning customers will continue to support the cheaper alternatives.
The FTSE100 started the day around 0.45% higher, and the FTSE250 followed the same trend opening 0.33% higher. They both maintained this throughout the day, and the FTSE100 closed near 0.54% and the FTSE250 near 0.35%.