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FTSE Live: Shell reports £16bn loss, Bank holds interest rates at 0.1%




FTSE Live: Shell, Unilever, BT update City as BoE sets rates

reaking news and analysis on busy day for the City

Live updates


Strike set to cause little or no chaos

Workers at Heathrow Airport will launch a fresh wave of industrial action on Friday in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Members of Unite, including firefighters, engineers and security staff, will walk out for 24 hours, followed by further strikes on February 9, 13, 16 and 18.

It is expected that further industrial action will be announced if the row is not resolved.

The union has accused the airport of a “fire and rehire” policy, which it said will lead to pay cuts.

Analysis of data from suggests that around 100 plans are landing at and taking off from Heathrow every weekday, down from around 1,200 a day in January 2020.


Ben & Jerry’s owner in ‘good shape’

Ben & Jerry’s and Hellmann’s mayonnaise owner Unilever said it has started 2021 in “good shape” after it missed market expectations for the past year.

Shares in the consumer goods giant dipped after it delivered a 5.8% decline in underlying operating profits to 9.3 billion euros (£8.2 billion) for the year to December as it was impacted by currency fluctuations.

Traders were left cold despite the company, which also makes Dove soap, laying out its plans to return to robust sales growth.

The group revealed that turnover fell by 2.4% to 50.7 billion euros (£44.7 billion) despite improvements in the fourth quarter.

Unilever said it plans to accelerate its expansion in the US, India and China as part of its long-term growth strategy.

It added that it plans to focus its portfolio in high-growth categories, using acquisitions and sales to shift towards areas with the strongest future prospects.

As such, the company said it is pushing forward with plans to separate its tea business, which has UK brands including PG Tips, following a strategic review.

Unilever said it also plans to grow its e-commerce offering amid strong growth in direct-to-consumer sales.

In 2020, underlying sales grew by 1.9% on the back of 3.5% growth in the fourth quarter following the recovery of trade in China and India.


Bank of England holds rates at 0.1%

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today held interest rates unchanged at 0.10% as it met for the first time in 2021.

The Bank also kept its quantitative easing programme to boost the economy unchanged at £895 billion.

The decisions had been expected, with analysts and investors instead on alert to detect any change in sentiment that could indicate a future shift into negative territory for interest rates as the UK battles to rebuild its battered balance sheet.

The rapid rollout of the UK’s vaccine program has lifted expectations for recovery. More than 10 million people have now received their jabs , almost a fifth of the adult population.

The committee said the UK economy is “projected to recover rapidly towards pre-COVID levels over 2021, as the vaccination programme is assumed to lead to an easing of COVID-related restrictions and people’s health concerns.”

James Smith, an economist at ING, said: “With the vaccine rollout going well, and cases now falling rapidly, there is a good chance that the economy will record a rapid bounce in activity through the middle of the year. That in turn reduces the pressure to inject additional stimulus.”


Barratt building up sales

Barratt Developments today boosted hopes that the housing market will cope once the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday finishes at the end of March. The housebuilder revealed that 11,588 homes had been secured for completion beyond that date, part of a “strong” forward sales position worth £3.42 billion.

Barratt underlined its optimism in half-year results by reinstating its dividend at 7.5p a share and revealing it spent £320 million on land amid a greater range of buying opportunities.


Shell posts £16bn loss after ‘extraordinary year’

The colossal struggle faced by energy giants to adapt to a green future amid the turmoil of the pandemic were laid bare today as Royal Dutch Shell posted its first ever headline loss – one of the biggest ever recorded by a UK-listed company.

The Anglo-Dutch supermajor – whose dividends underpin much of the UK’s pensions – made a $21.7billion (£16billion) underlying loss in 2020.

In 2019 it earned $15.8billion (£11.6bn).

It follows a crash in the crude oil price, multi-billion dollar write-downs in the future value of oil-fields and growing costs associated with accelerating the transition to a low-carbon model.

Net income adjusted for cost of supply – Shell’s preferred profit measure which strips out many of these impairments – was down 71% per cent to $4.8bn, versus $16.5bn in 2019.


It’s good to chat

BT boss Philip Jansen today praised the “sterling work” his staff have done working from home – but insisted they will be back in the office before long.

The telecoms giant saw revenues slide 7% to £16 billion in the quarter to December as virus restrictions hit sales.

The closure of pubs in particular hit revenues, as did a lack of travel which hurt mobile phone returns, though BT has been a vital part of the WFH boom.

Jansen and his BT colleagues insist they are committed to central London, with plans to move into new offices near St Paul’s.

He told the Standard: “People have done an amazing job of delivering in the circumstances. But everyone can see that it is a rather rectangular existence. As soon as the government deems it possible, we will be back in the office.”


Bands for brands

I Predict a Ribena? A deal signed today by Aim-listed advertising technology group Mirriad will see it put corporate brands into music videos using its digital special effects.

Mirriad has teamed up with B-Unique Records, the label behind the Kaiser Chiefs and Primal Scream and Red Light, the management company of Lionel Ritchie and Alabama Shakes, for the project. With Covid hitting live music, the deal is seen as a way for artists to bring in some much-needed revenue while raising  brands’ profile.


Lockdown gives construction a knock

The UK’s construction sector broke a seven-month streak of growth last month as a third national lockdown and worries about the future economic outlook bit.

New figures from the IHS Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which is closely tracked by experts, showed a reading of 49.2 in January, down from 54.6 in December. A reading above 50 signals growth.

It is the index’s weakest score since June, but only signals a small contraction.


Becks’ cannabis firm to float

A cannabis skincare company backed by David Beckham-backed is to float on the London Stock Exchange.

Cellular Goods has sold a stake to Beckham’s investment vehicle DB Ventures and wants to become the first pure-play cannabinoid firm to trade on the stock market, with a £20 million valuation.

It intends to raise around £8 million through a retail share offering to support the launch a range of “premium-quality consumer products”.

Alexis Abraham, chief executive of Cellular Goods, said: “The past few years have seen massive growth and awareness of the importance of wellness and self-care and we believe cannabinoids will prove to be the king of wellness ingredients.

“A London stock market listing will provide us with the profile, credibility and access to global capital to drive our growth.”

David Gardner, who oversees Beckham’s commercial businesses and investments as managing director of DB Ventures, has joined the board of Cellular Goods as a non-executive director.

It comes months after Beckham-backed e-sports company Guild Esports secured a £20 million listing on the stock exchange.


JD Sports beefs up its warchest

JD Sports Fashion was today limbering up for more global expansion after boosting its acquisitions war chest in a £464 million City fundraising.

Last night’s placing of new shares by brokers Investec and Peel Hunt was struck at 795p, a 2% discount to Wednesday’s closing price.

The move comes as the fast-growing sportswear retailer mulls a number of potential acquisition opportunities in a market rocked by Covid-19 disruption.

Its recent American deal-making spree continued earlier this week with the $495 million purchase of Baltimore-based shoe chain DTLR Villa. It followed on from the acquisitions of Shoe Palace in December and The Finish Line in June 2018.

Peel Hunt analyst Jonathan Pritchard thinks the Manchester-based company may look to target new overseas markets, as well as bolster existing positions.

He added: “The balance sheet is strong anyway but some deals need acquirers to move quickly and the bigger the war chest the better.”

Pritchard has a price target of 1,000p on the FTSE 100-listed stock.


gamestop reddit shares wallstreetbets amc nokia




gamestop reddit shares wallstreetbets amc nokia

HE Reddit trader military was back on the march nowadays sending shares in US ‘meme stocks’ such as GameStop rocketing to thirty day period-substantial concentrations.

GameStop, the bricks-and-mortar video video games seller at the centre of an armchair trader frenzy in January, opened 70% larger at $144.97 as Wall Road opened this afternoon.

That arrived immediately after a accumulating rally exploded to carry its share selling price from $49  to $91.71 in the last hour of trade past night time amid mounting speculation on line that a major equity investor may perhaps have taken a stake.

Other companies caught up in the first outbreak of purchasing mania – coordinated on the WallStreetBets discussion board on Reddit – also surged on the second wave.

McDonald’s ice product may perhaps seem an not likely induce for a fresh bout of frenzied retail buying and selling

Koss, a maker of headphones primarily based in Milwaukee, was up 55% to $9.85.

Cinema chain AMC was up by a lot more than 10% to $10.04. Nokia climbed 7.7% in Europe, and BlackBerry additional 5.3% in early buying and selling.

Cannabis firm Sundial Growers and garments organization Bare Brand Group were amid the five most energetic stocks in pre-sector investing.

The refreshing outbreak of volatility, fuelled by retail traders using absolutely free financial investment applications like RobinHood, provoked contemporary warnings for small-time investors.

Back again to the MOON!!!

Stockwatchers have been casting close to to discover a purpose driving the second wave.

Some cited a report on Bloomberg News indicating GameStop’s CFO Jim Bell was pushed out in a disagreement over tactic to make way for an executive far more in line with the eyesight of activist investor and board member Ryan Cohen.

Cohen, is the co-founder of on the internet pet-meals retailer, and his addition to the board early in the year – and calls for the firm to change emphasis from procuring malls to the profitable obtain industry – underpinned the first flurry of moves in the stock.

According to Neil Wilson, chief current market analyst for, the sudden surge in GameStop may well have been induced by a cryptic tweet from Cohen, who posted a frog emoji and image of a McDonald’s ice cream cone.

“Does it signal Cohen will correct the corporation the way McDonald’s ultimately preset its ice product equipment?” Wilson wrote in a note. “Who knows, stranger items have happened. It appears to be like like the Reddit crowd are at it yet again.”

More speculation followed that equity trader Volition Money, a big backer of Cohen’s may have stepped aboard.

A post on’s web site reads: “Pleasurable Information ABOUT CHEWY & VOLITION: Chewy’s first formal board meeting included two slides, a lot of laughter and a vacation to McDonalds for soft serve.”

One particular Reddit detective wrote: “You fellas! 🚀 Ryan Cohen has the reigns as CEO and they just had their to start with board assembly 🍦. Similar as he did at Chewy! The frog 🐸 is the lengthy-employed symbol of transition and transform, from tadpole to frog.”

Regardless of what the explanation, the sequel to last month’s retail increase led to problems that novice buyers would pile into the stock at an inflated selling price, only to shed hundreds of 1000’s when the bubble burst.

Oriano Lizza, premium sales trader at CMC Marketplaces, stated: “It’s a quite risky perform to test and purchase now… what we might (see) at the open of the cash marketplace is some individuals seeking to get in.”

Confirmation of that fear runs by way of a string of clean posts on the r/WallStreetBets forum.

“Why is GME likely up?” a person user requested. “Because we like the stock”, an additional replied – the phrase made use of by GameStop backer Keith Gill, aka RoaringKitty, when he was hauled in advance of Congress eariler this month.

An additional posted: “I skipped out on GME the 1st time, I’m not making that slip-up once more. TO THE MOON”

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