Tuesday, April 30: The FTSE 100(-0.50%) was lower as miners fell on weaker metal prices following weak data from China; whilst the FTSE 250(-0.57%) was dragged lower as Sirius Minerals announced a huge financing package. Asian markets were in the red in early trade, prompted by Chinese PMI data(50.1) which was indicative of a minimal expansion. The Federal Reserve will convene for two days today to discuss US monetary policy, market moves are generally muted both ahead and during central bank meetings.
Yorkshire-based Sirius Minerals fell 19.06% as it issued its FY2018 annual report accompanied by the announcement of a major financing package. The fertiliser company declared $3.8bn of financing for the development of its Woodsmith mine in Yorkshire, representing part two of the financing plan for the polyhalite mine. The firm will raise US$400m of equity to be placed at between 15p and 18p per share and issue convertible bonds to the tune of US$644m; $244m of which will be used to buy back existing bonds. $500m of senior secured debt will be offered, whilst a $2.5bn revolving credit facility will also be established.
FTSE 100 bank Standard Chartered(+4.82%) led the index higher as it announced improving Q1 profit, return on equity and launched a $1bn equity buyback programme after putting to bed legacy issues. For the three months ended March pretax profit rose 4.2% to US$1.24bn from US$1.26bn the year prior, as return on equity grew 30bps to 7.1%. The share buyback programme will start imminently, and is expected to trim 35 basis points off the current Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of 13.9% in Q2.
At the close European equities were mixed, with the FTSE 100 -0.50%, the CAC 40 +0.10% and the DAX 30 +0.13%.