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FTSE 100 Live 22 November: Oil prices fall, energy market, Europe Covid-19 restrictions, Europe shares, strategic oil reserves, KKR Telecom Italia



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$12 billion takeover move in the telecoms sector ensured European markets traded higher today, despite continued worries over the recent surge in Covid-19 cases on the continent.

Buy-out group KKR’s interest in Telecom Italia ignited other shares in the sector, with BT and Vodafone among the London-listed stocks trading higher.

Brent crude also recovered, having fallen to an eight-week low at the weekend amid the threat to winter demand from furher Covid-19 restrictions.

Live updates

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Everyman shares climb, profits to come in ahead of forecasts at cinema chain

Everyman Media Group has forecast higher profits, with the upmarket cinema chain seeing good customer “appetite” to watch films on the big screen.

The AIM-listed firm, which has 35 venues and is known for its sofa seating and wine menus, said admissions since its last update in September are ahead of forecasts.

The company, which is led by Alex Scrimgeour, said: “Looking beyond the current financial year, early indications suggest the appetite for cinema remains strong and we are optimistic for the outlook of the sector.”

The shares increased 7.95p, or 5.6%, to 149.95p.

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Telecom stocks lead FTSE higher

Shares in BT Group and Vodafone are more than 2% higher during a positive start to the week for the FTSE 100 Index.

The surge for the telecoms sector comes after buy-out giant KKR made a $12 billion approach for Telecom Italia.

Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said: “The offer signals a broader appeal to deep-pocketed US private equity giants of the European telecoms sector.”

Other stocks on the risers board include British Airways owner IAG and engines giant Rolls-Royce as they put back some of the losses seen on Friday.

The FTSE 100 index rose 24.09 points to 7247.66, having fallen over the past week.

Marks & Spencer shares was up another 3% in the FTSE 250 index after the Sunday Times reported that private equity giant Apollo had been circling the retailer prior to its recent share price recovery. Shares today lifted 7.5p to 248.3p.

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Brent crude oil is below $79 a barrel as Europe’s deteriorating Covid-19 situation continues to reduce the demand outlook for fuel.

As well as the prospect of tighter Covid restrictions, prices have come under pressure after Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida said he is considering the release of strategic oil reserves.

His comments at the weekend follow a request by the Biden administration for major oil consuming nations to release some of their stockpiles in a move to curb high prices.

Brent closed last week below $80 a barrel for the first time in seven weeks and was 0.25% cheaper at $78.70 a barrel today. West Texas oil fell sharply overnight by almost 4% to $76.10 a barrel.

Michael Hewson of CMC Markets said: “While the slide in oil prices is a welcome development in terms of concerns over higher inflation, the collateral damage from tighter restrictions won’t do much in terms of alleviating supply chain disruption.

“The one upside to temporary lower demand is it allows the opportunity for inventories to recover.”

The FTSE 100 index, which fell 0.4% on Friday following Austria’s announcement of new lockdown measures, is expected to open 12 points higher at 7,235 today.

The week ahead includes the minutes from the most recent meetings of policymakers at central banks in the US and Europe, while on the corporate front in London there are results from caterer Compass and challenger bank Virgin Money.

US markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.



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