Dunelm flags pre-tax profits ahead of expectations, Meggitt signs China deal with Lufthansa Technik
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 29 points higher on Thursday, having closed down 0.53% at 7,403.54 on Wednesday.
Stocks to watch
Homewares group Dunelm said it expected pre-tax profits to be ahead of expectations driven by good weather and strong trading across its businesses. The company forecast pre-tax profits to be in the range of £124 - £126m compared with £102m in 2018. “Since we last updated on 10 April 2019, we have seen very good year-on-year total like-for-like (LFL) growth, particularly in May and June, reflecting both the soft comparator period (Q4 2018 Total LFL growth of 0.1%) and the unseasonably favourable weather conditions this year,” the company said in a trading statement.
Student accommodation developer and manager the Unite Group has received resolution to grant planning permission for its 913-bed student accommodation development in Middlesex Street in London, it said on Thursday. The FTSE 250 company said the consent remained subject to approval from the Greater London Authority, which was expected in the next few weeks. It explained that the site occupied a “prime” location in central London, and would provide “much-needed accommodation” for students.
Meggitt announced on Thursday that it has signed an agreement with aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul provider Lufthansa Technik. The FTSE 250 company said under the deal, the partnership would provide “comprehensive” component maintenance, repair and overhaul services for commercial aircraft in mainland China.
Sajid Javid insisted last night that he was staying in the race to become Tory leader to win it as his rivals claimed that he was holding out to be Boris Johnson’s chancellor. The home secretary survived the third round of MPs’ voting to make it through to the final ballots today, which will decide which two will face an election by party members. - The Times
The US Federal Reserve held its base rate steady last night, but laid the groundwork for a cut later in the year as its chairman promised to stand his ground against a barrage of attacks from the White House. Projections released by the central bank showed that nearly half of its officials expected a rate cut in 2019. - The Times
Hargreaves Lansdown earned more than £40m in client fees on the now-suspended Woodford Equity Income Fund since its launch in 2014, with more than £20m generated in the last two years despite the fund’s increasingly poor performance. Responding to a letter from Treasury select committee chair Nicky Morgan, Hargreaves Lansdown said platform fees on client investments in Neil Woodford’s flagship fund had totalled £41.1m to the end of April. - Telegraph
The incoming prime minister will be forced to abandon any spending plans if the UK accelerates towards a no-deal Brexit, Philip Hammond is to say in a warning apparently directed at Boris Johnson. The chancellor, who is likely to be removed from the cabinet under a Johnson premiership, will tell business leaders in his Mansion House speech on Thursday that any leadership candidate must have a plan B if renegotiations with the EU fail, or their “job will be on the line”. - Guardian
Adidas has been unsuccessful in an attempt to expand its trademark three-stripe design in the EU after a court ruled it was not “distinctive” enough. The company did not “prove that that mark has acquired, throughout the territory of the EU, distinctive character following the use which had been made of it”, the general court of the EU said on Wednesday. - Guardian
Wall Street markets finished in the green on Wednesday, after the Fed decided to stand pat on interest rates, although it did pave the way for possible rate cuts going forward.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session up 0.15% at 26,504.00, the S&P 500 added 0.3% to 2,926.46, and the Nasdaq 100 was ahead 0.42% at 7,667.74.
Members of the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-1 in favour of keeping the benchmark interest rate target range at between 2.25% and 2.5%, in defiance of the wishes of US President Donald Trump, who had been putting the screws on the central bank to lower interest rates.
Investors had been largely expecting such a decision, with most instead looking for clues in the Fed’s rhetoric as to whether it was keen to cut rates going forward.
In its release, the FOMC removed the word ‘patient’ from how it explained its approach to monetary policy, and left the door to future rate cuts slightly ajar, with eight members favouring one cut this year.
The Fed said that it was still anticipating “sustained expansion” of US economic activity, with inflation moving towards the 2% mark, although it did note that uncertainties around the economy’s health had risen.