22nd January 2018 at 8:33 am
European shares look set for a mixed open this morning as sentiment was curbed by a US government shutdown but boosted by political developments in Germany.
Most Asian markets closed mixed as investors kept an eye on political developments in the US after a government shutdown began last week.
The dollar regained some footing after slipping earlier on a US government shutdown, supported by higher Treasury yields, while investors took a relatively calm view of the Washington wrangling. The US government shutdown took effect at midnight on Friday after Democrats and Republicans, locked in a bitter dispute over immigration and border security, failed to agree on a last-minute deal to fund government operations.
Oil prices climbed, pushed up by a drop in US drilling activity and by fighting in Syria between Turkish forces and Kurdish fighters.
Gold prices held steady amid a softer dollar as the US government shutdown due to a funding impasse unnerved investors.
In company news, Ocado has signed its second major international customer less than two months after the first, with a contract to build a customer fulfilment centre for Canada’s second largest supermarket group. Winning a contract with $24bn-sales-a-year Sobeys should create “significant long term value” for the FTSE 250 online grocery specialist, although it will be earnings-neutral in the current year.
Smiths Group has agreed to sell its John Crane’s Bearings business to private Austrian company Miba AG for an enterprise value of $35m. Smiths said the divestment is part of the ongoing corporate programme to concentrate the portfolio on scalable market leading positions in the company’s chosen markets, and the proceeds will be reinvested in “attractive growth opportunities”.
Having rejected a £7bn hostile bid from Melrose Industries last week, GKN sought to highlight its potential as a standalone entity on Monday, lifting sales forecasts for its electric driveline business. The engineer said it now expected sales in the unit to increase over eight-fold to £275m in 2020, up from a previous forecast of £200m and £33m the year in 2017
FTSE 100 7,719 (-0.15%)
FTSE 250 20,636 (-0.08%)
DAX 13,440 +0.04%
At the close
Dow Jones IA 26,017 0.00%
S&P 500 2,810 0.00%
NASDAQ 7,336 +0.55%
UK Government Bond
UK 10-YR Yield 1.337 (-0.08%)
Gold $1,331 (-0.02%)
Brent $68.850 +0.19%
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