Oil rally helps Shell profits surge

Oil rally helps Shell profits surge

Mike van Dulken & Henry Croft at Accendo Markets commented to clients this morning:

FTSE 100 Index called to open +20pts at 7555, off its lows but the bounce unable to break above yesterday’s breach of 7565. Bulls will want to see another attempt to get above this hurdle while bears require a fall below 7545 to engineer another visit of yesterday’s lowest since 20 Dec. Bullish 7565, Bearish 7545

 

Calls for a positive start come after Asian equities built on a positive albeit muted close on Wall St, Japan outperforming thanks to USD strength pushing the Yen lower to help exporters. Regional Financials welcomed no surprises from the Fed last night, as well as a tick up in bond yields, while Oil is holding yesterday’s gains to help Energy.

 

This, along with Miners ignoring metals prices off their best, buoyed Australia’s ASX overnight, with potential positive read-across for the FTSE which may also benefit from USD strength taking GBP off its highs. With Global PMI Manufacturing prints in focus today, note overnight updates showing Japan improving, China flat and a deterioration in India.

 

UK corporate news this morning: Unilever Q4 results look better than consensus on all metrics (with & ex-Spreads); expects 2018 growth of 3-5% and underlying margin improvement and cash flow. Vodafone Q3 group revenues -3.6%, organic service revenues +1.1% – just shy of consensus, reiterates FY guidance of EBITDA growth of circa 10%. Royal Dutch Shell reports strong Q4 and FY growth. Melrose publishes offer doc for GKN.

 

Glencore reports higher Q4 copper production, but lower on a FY basis; zinc and ferrochrome in-line, nickel and coal down, oil interests down. 3i reports 9M NAV +19.4%. Hammerson sells Birmingham’s Battery retail park to NFU for £57.5m. BT Openreach launches ‘fibre first’ programme to get fibre broadband to 3m UK homes & businesses by end-2020.

 

US equity markets closed higher on Wednesday, paring some losses from the sell-off of the previous two sessions, and capped off the best single month of trading since March 2016. The Dow Jones outperformed, climbing over 70 points as Boeing (+4.9%) enjoyed a stellar reaction to FY results, offsetting the impact of every component in the red. The Tech-focused Nasdaq finished 0.1% highs, while Real Estate helped the S&P 500 to close just above breakeven. Note, Facebook results comfortably beat expectations, however shares fell up to 5% after hours before recovering losses to close flat.

 

US companies reporting today include Dow components Apple (9:30pm), DowDuPont (11am) and Visa (after-market), with other major stocks reporting including Alphabet (fka Google; 9pm), Amazon (9pm), ConocoPhillips (12pm), Ford (January sales; 2:15pm), GoPro (after-market), Mastercard (1pm), Ralph Lauren (1pm), Time Warner (before-market) and UPS (12:45pm).

 

Crude Oil benchmarks have broken out from 1-week falling channels as the US dollar continues to trade sideways and with a US Gasoline inventory drawdown offsetting a larger than expected US Crude Oil inventory build yesterday. Global benchmark Brent climbed to $69.5 overnight before encountering fresh falling highs resistance, while US crude is challenging support-turned-resistance at $65.

 

Gold remains in a tight channel as the US dollar consolidates, with the precious metal failing to overcome resistance at $1345, however continuing to be supported by rising lows from January lows. A break above $1345 could open the door towards Friday’s $1345 highs, while a breakdown opens the door to 1-week lows of $1332.

 

In focus today will be a range of Manufacturing PMI prints from Europe, the UK and US after Asia updated overnight with Japan improving, China unchanged and India deteriorating.

 

In Europe, Spain (8:15am) is the only country seen higher in January, with Italy (8:45am) falling for a second month from a record high, while both France (8:50am) and Germany (8:55am) confirm retreats from December’s record highs. The headline Eurozone print (9am), perhaps unsurprisingly, is also expected to have fallen from a record.

 

The UK print (9:30am) is forecast higher in January, although it remains a distance from November’s more than 4-year high. This afternoon, the US (2:45pm) may be confirmed rising to near a 3yr high.

 

Other data today includes US Weekly Jobless Claims and Non-Farm Productivity (1:30pm) ahead of tomorrow’s all-important US Jobs Report and Non-Farm Payrolls. ISM Manufacturing (3pm) is seen lower after December’s rebound while Construction Spending retreats for a third straight month.

 

Speakers of note today include ECB Chief Economist Praet (11:15am) at a lunch conference in Brussels, and the BoE’s Brazier (5:30pm) speaks at Imperial College London in a debate on issues related to financial markets and the UK’s financial stability.

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