Thursday, September 28: major markets were apprehensive following further detail on U.S. tax reform and a selloff in bonds, as investors re-configured interest rate expectations. The FTSE 100 managed a positive close of 0.13%, with no notable dynamics at play on a stock basis, as sterling bounced around hindering progress for the primary index. However, Brexit-related talks reportedly made progress on various points, but major disagreements remain over the size of the EU’s divorce bill.
U.S. tax reform was broadly in line with leaked information yesterday, with corporation tax slashed to 20%(previously 35%), the ability of businesses to immediately write off non-building capital expenditure for at least five years, and a one-time tax for the repatriation of untaxed offshore profits. Individuals will also benefit from tax cuts to lower rates of 12%, 25%, and 35%(from 39.6%), with the potential for a fourth tax bracket for high income earners to be set by Congress.
SSP Group(+6.03%) was one of the largest gainers on the FTSE 250 index after announcing it expects to report a rise in revenue for its financial year to the end of September, with sales in its fourth quarter increasing. The food & beverage operator with outlets in travel locations said total revenue in the period from the beginning of July to end of September is expected to have risen by around 15% on a constant currency basis with net contract gains of around 8.5%. Weaker sterling boosted sales at actual exchange rates, and reported revenue is expected to show a c.18% rise for the same period. Quarterly like-for-like sales were reported as being “good” and are expected to rise 3%, aided by increased passenger volumes in the air sector, as trading in the rail sector remained soft.
Across Europe, indices were marginally higher at the close with the FTSE 100 +0.13%, the DAX 30 +0.37% and the CAC 40 +0.22%.