BHP posts best figures for five years, AstraZeneca releases positive results for 'Farxiga'
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 12 points higher on Tuesday, having closed up 1.02% at 7,189.65 on Monday.
Stocks to watch
BHP on Tuesday posted its best full year figures for five years and handed out a record dividend as it cashed in on higher commodity prices. Underlying profit rose to $9.12bn from $8.93bn year on year, but was still lower than expectations of $9.4bn. The company announced a dividend of 78 cents a share, meaning that it will hand back $3.9bn to investors in addition to $17bn already announced.
AstraZeneca announced positive results from the phase 3 ‘DAPA-HF’ trial on Tuesday, which it said showed that ‘Farxiga’ (dapagliflozin) met its primary composite endpoint, with a statistically-significant and clinically-meaningful reduction of cardiovascular death or worsening of heart failure compared to placebo. The FTSE 100 pharmaceuticals giant said the trial was conducted in patients with reduced ejection fraction on standard of care treatment, including those with and without type-2 diabetes. It said the safety profile of Farxiga in the DAPA-HF trial was consistent with the “well-established” safety profile of the medicine.
Persimmon reported drops in interim revenue and profit before tax to £1.75bn and £509.3m respectively on Monday, though that was in line with expectations as the business focused on improving the quality and service delivered to its customers. Meanwhile, the housebuilder reported that it stood in a strong position to take advantage of high levels of employment, low interest rates, and a competitive mortgage market, even as Brexit uncertainty lingered.
The rise of nationalism and governments that interfere in markets pose a threat to the global economic system, the boss of BHP, the world’s biggest mining company, has warned. Despite announcing a 124% rise in profits to $US8.31bn (£6.84bn), helped by booming iron ore sales to China, Andrew Mackenzie said on Tuesday that there were “a number of things abroad” that were causing concern for the Anglo-Australian behemoth. – Guardian
UK households have cut back on big purchases such as holidays as fears of a possible recession continue to loom, a survey suggests. Confidence among UK households has fallen to its lowest in three months, according to the latest IHS Markit household finance index, dropping to 43.7 in August from 44.3 the previous month. The index measures perceptions of financial well-being, with readings below 50 reflecting a deterioration in sentiment. – Guardian
City lobby groups have started talking to banks and investors about reducing stock market trading hours in a radical move aimed at helping working parents. The plans, which are at the early discussion stage, are aimed at ending the era of testosterone-fuelled trading rooms by encouraging more women not to drop out of senior City jobs due to childcare issues. – Telegraph
Uber has hired a new boss for the UK and Ireland as it battles to secure a long-term licence to operate its taxis in London. The American company has recruited Melinda Roylett to replace Tom Elvidge, who left to join Wework, the shared offices company, in April. – The Times
A fast-growing American maker of e-cigarettes has raised $325 million as it prepares to increase its expansion overseas. Juul, which is 35 per cent-owned by Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, raised the funds through a debt and equity sale, a regulatory filing showed yesterday. Valued privately last December at $38 billion, Juul launched its first e-cigarette in 2015 and now dominates the market in the United States, with about three quarters of sales. – The Times
Wall Street finished in the green on Monday, as investors reacted to news from the weekend that the Commerce Department would grant Chinese telco giant Huawei a further 90-day reprieve from a prohibition on US companies trading with it.
At the same time, investors appeared to shrug off remarks from the US President that appeared to call that possibility into question.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session up 0.96% at 26,135.79, the S&P 500 added 1.21% to 2,923.65, and the Nasdaq 100 was 1.52% stronger at 7,719.32.
At the open, the Dow gained 228.29 points higher after turning in a solid performance on Friday, when a strong set of results from Walmart and some positive economic data helped to offset worries from a vow by China to counter the latest round of tariffs from the White House.
Sentiment was buoyed by remarks from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to Fox Business that his department would extend Huawei's license for 90 days, allowing it to keep sourcing components from US companies so that it could continue to service its existing customers, including many rural US telecommunications firms.