Next remains optimistic after Q3 miss

Mike van Dulken and Artjom Hatsaturjants at Accendo Markets, commented this morning:

Next remains optimistic after Q3 miss

FTSE 100 Index called to open +60pts at 7095, after a bullish breakout from the 3-week falling channel, extending the current rebound rally to 245pts/3.6%. Bulls need a break above 7110, to leapfrog the highs of 22 Oct and open the door to 10 Oct highs of 7243. Bears require a breach of 7065 to put the index back in the falling channel. Watch levels: Bullish 7115, Bearish 7060

Calls for a positive open for the last trading session of the month come after a strong rebound on Wall St that continued well into the Asian session. Tech was at the forefront after Facebook beat profits expectations by a wide margin (shares +3% after-hours), but the global equity recovery appears broad-based (energy, basic materials and financials all participating).

Worries over Chinese economy were entirely brushed aside in spite of a weakest reading for China PMI Manufacturing since June 2016 (50.2 vs 50.6 est., just a whisker from contraction). Note Samsung results beat expectations with another record profit, but it offered a downbeat Q4 outlook.

USD strength, courtesy of the optimism over a potential US-China trade deal, could benefit FTSE’s international cohort via corresponding GBP weakness. Safe-havens (Gold, Yen) in retreat as a risk on sentiment swept the market.

In corporate news this morning Next Q3 Retail -8% misses -6.1% consensus; Online +12.74% beats 11% est.; Full Price Sales +1.3% (+2% incl. interest) misses +2.1% est.; 9M Retail -6.3% vs -6.9% in H1, Online +14.8% vs +16.8% in H1, Full Price sales +3.1% vs +4.5 in H1; Reiterates FY guidance of Full Price sales +3%.

Standard Chartered Q3 underlying pre-tax profit +31% YoY to $1.07bn, beating $976m consensus, net interest margin 1.58% (-1bp vs Q2, +50bp YoY), Common Tier 1 Ratio 14.5% (+30bp vs Q2, +90bp YoY). All geographies seeing growth except MENA. “Cautiously optimistic” on global growth. William Hill to buy Mr Green & Co (MRG) for £242m, a 48.5% premium.

Smurfit Kappa 9-month like-for-like revenue +7% YoY, EBITDA (pre-exceptional) +27%; Deconsolidated Venezuelan operations results in €66m write-down. Acquired two packaging operations in Serbia for €133m. Trading in-line; Expects FY outcome “materially better” than 2017. Randgold Resources (being acquired by Barrick Gold) dividend +34.5% (to $2.69/share, largest to date), subject to board approval.

CMA approves acquisition of NEX by CME. Takeover Panel extends consortium takeover deadline for Intu Properties to 15 Nov. Equiniti administers $10.9bn takeover of Pinnacle Foods by Conagra, of which £5.1bn cash and $2.7bn shares. Great Portland Estates completes Hanover Square land buy-back from TFL; two 150yr leases from Q3 2020.

Just Group new business sales +40% YoY, defined benefit de-risking +91%, retirement income sales +44%. Seeing increased appetite for lifetime mortgages stimulating market growth. Strengthened pricing discipline in anticipation of higher regulatory capital requirements.

Computacenter Q3 revenues -3% (reported and constant. FX) due to challenging comparison (Services -1%, Tech Sourcing -5%);Expects improved growth in Q4 (before acquisitions) but not to the levels seen in H1. Infrastructure Managed Services more challenging, growth more difficult.

In focus today will be Eurozone Inflation (10am), currently projected at 2.2% YoY (up from 2.1% prev.), yet again above the ECB’s “below, but close to, 2%” target. Following yesterday’s weak GDP, will rising prices (stagflation?) force the ECB to adjust policy, or will Draghi & Co. stick to their late summer 2019 target for its next interest rate hike?

In the US, ADP Employment Change (12:15pm) may show less workers hired in October (189K est. vs 230K prev.) offering a potential preview of Friday’s Non-Farm Payrolls jobs report. That said, last month’s strong figure was the best in 7 months and may have been a seasonal anomaly.

Meanwhile, EIA Oil Inventory report (2:30pm) is expected to show another large build in crude, potentially further depressing oil prices. Note API data showed a 5.7m barrel build overnight, above the 4.1m consensus, although Gas and Distillates had bigger than expected drawdowns.

In terms of speakers, the ECB’s Nowotny (9am, hawkish) is at an economic reporters’ club in Vienna, while colleague Nouy (9:05am, supervisory board) gives a keynote address at a Financial Stability Conference in Berlin.

Note also the Fed (2:30pm) holding an open meeting to discuss proposed changes to ease the post-crisis oversight framework for US banks (raising the asset threshold for systemically-important banks to $250bn and tailoring requirements; less frequent stress tests for mid-size banks).

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