Hammerson sells Gloucester retail park, Meggitt wins six-year US defence contract
The FTSE 100 is expected to open 19 points higher on Tuesday, having closed up 0.07% at 7,307.70 on Monday.
Stocks to watch
Hammerson said it had sold the St Oswald's Retail Park in Gloucester, to a local authority for £54m. The sale price reflects a net initial yield of 8.5%, and is 8% below the 30 June 2019 book value, the company said on Tuesday. Hammerson has now raised £577m from disposals in 2019, exceeding its minimum target of £500m for the financial year.
Defence contractor Meggitt said it had won a six year $130m requirements contract with the US Defense Logistics Agency to supply aircraft fuel bladders. The company on Tuesday said the deal would supply the bladders to the F/A-18 Super Hornet, V-22 Osprey and the CH/MH-53 Super Stallion aircraft, with deliveries scheduled to start in 2020.
Polypipe Group updated the market on its trading for the 10 months ended 31 October on Tuesday, reporting a “resilient performance” in tough markets, with revenue 4.3% higher at £381.7m, and operating margins 30 basis points higher thanks to margin accretive acquisitions and strong cost controls. The FTSE 250 company said that since the end of October, however, its strong 2018 comparatives had been compounded by flooding and poor ground conditions, most notably in the North and the Midlands, meaning contractors and developers had not been able to access sites for civils and groundworks activities. As a result, it now expected underlying operating profit for the year to be just below its previous expectations.
The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has ramped up his attack on the super-rich, describing their wealth as “obscene”, as Labour unveiled research showing one in three billionaires in the UK have made donations to the Tory party. McDonnell is due to take a swipe at the richest people in the country in a speech on Tuesday and will also set out the tax breaks billionaires have benefited from under successive Conservative governments. - Guardian
Human rights campaigners have criticised the London Stock Exchange Group for including G4S on ethical investment indices, after the British security company was accused of contributing to human rights violations. The FTSE4Good index, run by the London Stock Exchange Group’s FTSE Russell subsidiary, has included G4S for the past three years. - Guardian
Partners at one of the Big Four accountancy firms are in line for a pay cut, despite its British business making record revenues as the profession braces itself for regulatory reform. The 702 partners at EY received an average of £679,000 in the year to the end of June, down 2% on the previous year’s pay of £693,000. - The Times
Boris Johnson’s pledge of a fundamental review of business rates has been greeted with scepticism, with industry leaders fearing that it will “go over old ground” after failures to act on previous promises of reform. A Conservative government would cut the commercial property tax in its first budget if the party won a majority at the general election, the prime minister said. "We will reduce the overall burden of business rates as part of this review," the Tories said. - The Times
Major high street chains have been forced to close almost 6,000 stores so far this year amid a raging crisis on the high street. A total of 5,834 shops were shut by large retailers with 10 or more stores since the start of the year to September 30, according to the Centre for Retail Research. - Telegraph
Stocks in the States finished in positive territory for the first session of the week, on the back of mixed reports around the state of the ongoing trade talks between the US and China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.11% at 28,036.22, the S&P 500 added 0.05% to 3,122.03, and the Nasdaq Composite ended the session 0.11% firmer at 8,549.94.
Over the weekend, top US and Chinese trade negotiators had held what China's ministry of commerce labelled "constructive" talks to try and reach a phase-one trade deal.
Still, that followed other reports over the last week that several issues remained outstanding, seeing some City analysts reacting coolly to the news.
Heightening caution, on Monday morning CNBC reported that officials in Beijing had been troubled by the US President's assertion that no agreement to roll-back tariffs had been reached.
In other news out of China, Reuters reported on Saturday that Washington was set to extend a licence allowing US companies to continue to trade with Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei for two weeks, while overnight the People's Bank of China trimmed its reverse repurchase interest rate by five basis points to 2.50%.
“A key interest cut in China provided another reason for optimism today, with the People’s Bank trimming the seven-day reverse repurchase agreement rate by five basis points,” said IG's Josh Mahony.