North korea news – ftse live north korea appears to offer uncharacteristic olive branch – youtube la gas prices now


Shares are on the up again as we head into the bank holiday weekend. Investors appear to be buying the Trump inspired dip in markets after North Korea offered an uncharacteristic olive branch by saying it is still open to further negotiation despite the snub. In companies news Australia’s Wesfarmers has bailed out of Britain by selling the Homebase chain to restructurer Hilco for just £1. Alex Sebastian Host commentator Auto-update 11:49 ‘A surprisingly conciliatory reaction by Pyongyang’ Ken Odeluga, market analyst at City Index – "A surprisingly conciliatory reaction by Pyongyang to the White House’s cancellation of an historic summit underpinned a swift return to calm over global markets. Notable silence from the Supreme Leader’s office helped. Kim Jong-un and officials close to him were the source of much “hostility” that was pivotal to President Donald Trump’s decision to cancel. Instead, the Vice Foreign Minister said Pyongyang held out hope of a “Trump formula” to resolve the impasse. Asian stock market tension abated sufficiently for South Korea’s KOSPI to close just 0.2% lower, in step with moderated falls across most Asia-Pacific indices. European stock markets were supported by signs that the dollar was ending its consolidation. Frankfurt’s DAX was leading, driven 1% higher by a rebound in auto stocks after a loud pushback from the industry to Trump’s threat to impose new car import tariffs. Despite the late-week bounce though damage was already done to European stocks, leaving the broad STOXX index facing its first weekly fall since the end of March. 11:22 GVC hit by horse racing cancellations Sales at GVC-owned Ladbrokes took a hit from the extreme cold snap with horse racing cancellations hitting performance. The group saw retail gaming revenue drop 5% in the 20 weeks to May 20, with sports betting falling 9%. Severe weather saw 12% of all horse racing fixtures cancelled in the period. Gaming machine revenues were 2% behind last year and will remain ‘under pressure.’ 10:29 More views on the GDP update John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC- "The ONS left their estimate of first quarter GDP growth unchanged at 0.1%, with construction and retailing being the main sources of weakness on the output side. They also continued to downplay the negative influence of adverse weather conditions on the figures, in contrast to the views of the Bank of England and indications from some business surveys that this was a more significant factor. "On the expenditure side, subdued growth of consumer spending of just 0.2% was an important factor behind the slowdown, although retail sales bounced back strongly in April so we expect somewhat stronger growth in the second quarter. "Overall, the figures confirm the view that UK growth was subdued in the first quarter, though we continue to believe that this overstates the underlying weakness of the economy, bearing in mind the strong jobs growth we’ve seen. We expect some recovery in the second quarter, with GDP growth of around 1.3% for 2018 as a whole." 10:10 Some analyst insight on SSE Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre- “SSE’s full year results look disappointing on many fronts; adjusted operating profits were down by 6% while reported profits before tax were down 39% to £1,086m. However, these falls were not as bad as feared leaving the shares to open up modestly in early morning trading. “Part of the decline in profits is down to the competition in the sector with customers switching their accounts to cheaper alternatives which has been an ongoing theme for a number of years. Price caps already introduced for certain types of customers also had an impact. “The group profits were also impacted by rising non-energy costs and increased capital expenditures in its energy transmission and distribution business. The previous year’s profits would have been hard to match given the sale of its gas distribution business. “Management at SSE described the upcoming year as one of transition as it prepares a segregation of its household energy supply business through a separate share listing. Investors in SSE and other energy suppliers will also have to prepare for the impact on profits from the enactment later this of the Domestic Gas and Electricity Bill and the subsequent cap of energy tariffs. “For investors the key focus remains on the dividend and despite these drab numbers, the dividend yield still remains attractive at around 6.5% and the full year dividend has just been raised 3.7% to 94.7p. Going forward, management are targeting a 3% rise in the dividend in the current financial year, in-line with RPI, and aiming to match RPI all the way out to 2023. Naturally this will be very welcome by investors but question have been asked about its falling dividend cover. “With a modest recovery in the share price, a lacklustre outlook, but still attractive dividend yields, we continue with our Hold recommendation on SSE