Stocks Mixed As Catalonia Crisis Eases Before Fed

This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

Stocks in London ended mixed on Wednesday, as investor concerns regarding the Catalonia referendum temporarily petered out, with attention turning to the latest minutes from the US Federal Reserve this evening.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 0.1 %, or 4.46 points at 7,533.81. The FTSE 250 ended up 0.1%, or 21.50 points, at 20,167.78, and the AIM All-Share closed up 0.5%, or 5.17 points, at 1,024.99.

The BATS UK 100 ended down 0.1% at 12,801.10, the BATS 250 closed up 0.1% at 18,378.05, and the BATS Small Companies ended 0.2% lower at 12,446.72.

"The FTSE 100, even with sterling's losses against the euro struggled for momentum. Cable was similarly stagnant, as the pound's early-in-the-week rebound ran out of steam," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

The pound was slightly higher at USD1.3200 at the London equities close, compared to USD1.3192 at the close Tuesday.

Prime Minister Theresa May said Britain "will leave" the EU in March 2019, amid concerns from a Conservative backbencher that Brexit talks could be extended.

At Prime Minister's Questions, Eurosceptic MP Peter Bone called on May to give an assurance "that under no circumstances will the negotiations be extended".

May responded that Article 50 did allow for an extension of exit negotiations, adding: "I've been very clear. We want those negotiations to end - not just the negotiations to end, we want to have an agreement on the future relationship, and our withdrawal - by March 2019, and we will leave the EU on March 2019."

Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond indicated he is ready to spend large sums to get Britain ready for a "no deal" Brexit, as it emerged that GBP250 million has already been allocated for EU withdrawal preparations.

He told MPs that the Treasury was "prepared to spend when we need to spend" on contingency plans for "no deal" outcomes including a possible "bad-tempered breakdown" in negotiations.

The government would need to decide at some point what was the "realistic" worst case it needed to plan for, but it would wait until the "last point" before committing funds, he said.

In Paris the CAC 40 ended down 0.1%, while the DAX 30 in Frankfurt ended up 0.2%.

The euro was firm at USD1.1847 at the European equities close, against USD1.1806 the prior day, as fears over the Catalonia's independence referendum eased, with investors welcoming the cooling of tensions.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy demanded the Catalan regional government clarify whether it has formally declared independence before Madrid takes any steps to take over control of the autonomous region.

The president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, on Tuesday announced a suspension of the region's independence declaration, instead calling for dialogue as part of Catalonia's path toward secession from Spain.

Addressing Spanish parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said many regrettable things had happened, but all blame should be laid at feet of the "group of activists" who had forced a "fraudulent referendum."

Speaking about Catalonia's referendum on independence from Spain, Rajoy remains open to dialogue, although "no dialogue is possible between democratic law and disobedience or illegality."The constitution could change, but only through 'law and established rules'", the Spanish prime minister added.

"Catalonia now apparently exists in a state of limbo, having declared and then suspended its independence, while Spain has said it might think about activating Article 155. The irresistible force has met the immovable object, and stalemate has resulted. The lack of any drama has meant that, outside the Ibex, the market reaction has been limited," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

Stocks in New York were flat to higher at the London equities close. The DJIA was up 0.1%, while the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq Composite were both flat.

Investors are awaiting the latest minutes from the US Federal Open Market Committee meeting in September, to be released at 1900 BST, which is of significance as the market seeks further clarity over interest rates going forward.

The general consensus is that a third interest rate hike will occur in December, with the central bank having raised rates twice already in 2017 - once in March and then in June.

At the September meeting, the US central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a target range of 1.00% to 1.25%, but the so-called 'dot plot' showed most Fed members expect another hike of 0.25% before the end of 2017, followed by three further hikes next year.

"I'm not convinced the minutes will provide much additional detail on interest rates and will instead simply reiterate what we learned in the statement, economic projections and press conference with Chair Janet Yellen. Moreover, with Vice Chair Stanley Fischer having now left the FOMC and Yellen's tenure as chair expiring in February, we have to question just how useful they could be in anticipating the Fed’s moves next year. A December rate hike now appears very likely – and is 98.6% priced in according to CME Group – but beyond that, a significant amount of uncertainty remains," said Oanda senior market analyst Craig Erlam.

Brent oil was soft, and quoted at USD56.32 a barrel at the equities close Wednesdaycompared to USD56.47 at the London equities close Tuesday.

Gold was lower, quoted at USD1,288.97 an ounce against USD1,292.94 at the London equities close Tuesday.

On the London Stock Exchange, 

Smith & Nephew ended 3.8% higher, after reports emerged that Elliott Management is understood to have built a stake in the medical devices maker, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Tuesday.

Bloomberg said the stake that Elliott, an activist hedge fund owned by billionaire Paul Singer, had taken in the FTSE 100-listed company was not clear. Bloomberg also said that its sources had not said what Elliott planned to push for at the company.

Bloomberg said Smith & Nephew has long been the subject of takeover speculation, tied for third in its list of European acquisition targets in 2017 after topping the list for the two previous years.

Airlines 

easyJet and British Airways parent company 

International Consolidated Airlines Group ended up 2.9% and 2.4% respectively, following the conclusion of the latest French air traffic control strikes on Wednesday morning.

The strikes, which started Monday, saw the cancellations of hundreds of flights and affected flights passing through French airspace. The disruptions also had knock-on delays to other flights as well as those coming to and from French airports.

"Despite the disruption caused by yesterday's French air traffic control strike, the likes of easyJet and IAG remain amongst the market leaders this morning, with investors hoping there will be upside for such firms in the wake of the Ryanair cancellations and Monarch collapse," said IG Group analyst Josh Mahony.

At the other end of the large-cap index, 

Mondi was the worst performer closing down 7.7%. The Anglo-South African paper and packaging company warned its underlying performance for the full financial year will be "modestly below" market expectations due to continuing cost pressures and negative currency movements, providing an uncertain outlook overshadowing an otherwise positive performance in the third quarter.

Fellow blue-chip packaging firm 

Smurfit Kappa - which in August flagged pressure on its own costs - closed down 2.6%, while midcap peer 

DS Smith ended down 2.3%.

Next closed down 1.3% after Morgan Stanley downgraded the clothing and homewares retailer to Underweight from Equal Weight.

In the FTSE 250,

 Dunelm Group was the best performer ,closing up 5.8% after its performance in the first quarter showed a significant recovery with a surge in like-for-like sales growth.

The homewares retailer's first quarter results for the 13 weeks to the end of September delivered like-for-like growth of 9.3% in the quarter to GBP214.3 million - the fastest acceleration of growth for the company in three years.

The growth was mainly driven by its online Dunelm.com segment, with like-for-likes rising over 46% to GBP19.9 million. Still, excluding the fast growing online segment, the growth from stores was still upbeat at 6.5% to GBP194.4 million.

At the other end of the mid-cap index was 

PageGroup, closing down 9.1% after the recruiter said saw a weak performance in its core UK market, which slowed in wake of Brexit concerns and general political uncertainty.

UK gross profit in the third quarter of 2017 fell by 7.6% to GBP34.9 million from GBP37.8 million the year before. While the temp business in the UK was affected less, with gross profit declining 2%, but the unit responsible for permanent job placings fell 10%.

Around GBP160.0 million has been knocked off the recruitment company's total market value during Wednesday's trading alone.

Provident Financial was the second worst performer closing down 5.1%, after Barclays downgraded the subprime lender to Underweight from Equal Weight. Analysts at Barclays cited a potential Repayment Option Plan fine and a lack of confidence in its turnaround of the Home Credit business as a reason for the downgrade.

On London's AIM-All Share Index ZAI Corporate Finance said its nominated adviser status will be removed after it failed to meet eligibility criteria under AIM rules, prompting a swathe of firms to whom ZAI is nomad racing to find replacements to avoid suspension.

The economic events calendar for Thursday has foreign direct investment data from China at 0300 BST, French inflation figures at 0745 BST, the Bank of England's Credit Conditions Survey at 0930 BST and US producer prices at 1330 BST. Moreover European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will be speaking at the annual meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC at 1530 BST.

The UK corporate calendar for Thursday has first quarter results from blue-chip pay-TV provider 

Sky, in the FTSE 250 there are full year results from books and stationery retailer

 WH Smith, half year results from wholesaler

 Booker Group and a trading statement from recruiter 

Hays.

 

This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

Source : https://www.fxstreet.com/analysis/stocks-mixed-as-catalonia-crisis-eases-before-fed-201710111619

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