Wednesday, April 22: The FTSE 100(+2.3%) closed out the day in the green lifted by a raft of oil & mining stocks as the likelihood of oil production cuts from OPEC appeared to increase, with this optimism also feeding into bids for other commodities. Brent Crude, the UK’s oil benchmark was almost 9% higher after the close of trading at $20.92. Investors were emboldened further when Italy’s PM Guiseppe Conte announced that Italy would likely be starting to ease lockdown restrictions, spurring the FTSE MIB to close +1.9% on hopes of increasing economic activity.
Boohoo(+3.00%) clawed back some of the sharp falls seen last month as it noted beats at both revenue and earnings lines versus expectations for the full year. Sales were boosted by casualwear such as hoodies, joggers and tracksuit bottoms instead of going out items. In the year to the end of February the Group generated pretax profit of £92.2m, representing a 54% increase on the prior 12 months. Boohoo is at an advantaged position due to its reduced cost base as an online only operation versus the traditional high street retailer rents & rates model.
Netflix’s latest market update saw the streaming giant add 15.8m subscribers in Q1, more than double the 7.2m that were expected, representing growth greater than 22% worldwide. The top line also saw a marginal beat of $0.01bn at $5.77bn versus expectations. Despite stellar userbase growth in trying times, management stressed in an open letter to shareholders that some of the lockdown growth will prove to be pull-forward as part of the multi-year organic growth trend. Therefore, slower growth is to be expected after the lockdown is lifted on a country-by-country basis. Productions were paused across the globe, however management are confident they have a sufficient pipeline of content ready to go through 2020 and 2021. Despite the record addition of subscribers, the stock was almost 3% lower at pixel time.
European equities closed higher with the FTSE 100 +2.3%, the DAX 30 +1.61% and the CAC 40 +1.25%.