Please find this week’s edition of Weekly Digest attached.
The FTSE 100 closed down 0.26% yesterday, modestly outperforming the FTSE 250 as the pound weakens. Softening bond yields have lent some momentum back to the defensive growth names that have been out of favour month-to-date.
It was the turn of the Labour Party to be under the spotlight this weekend, with the departure of Corbyn’s senior aide Andrew Fisher, the author of the last Labour manifesto, a shock. The move and subsequent U-turn on abolishing Tom Watson’s role as deputy leader was an inauspicious start to the conference, and was followed by growing pressure on Corbyn to commit the party to a Remain ticket at the next General Election.
Wall Street finished down 0.5% on Friday, despite the Chinese trade negotiators arriving in Washington last week and both sides calling the talks “productive” and “constructive”. Reports that Chinese trade negotiators had cancelled a visit to US farmers, along with Trump’s assertions that he probably didn’t need a deal before the next election, swiftly checked the momentum.
On the data front, today saw manufacturing data from the Eurozone coming in below expectations while US manufacturing data rose to a five month high. Scheduled corporate news this week sees an update from Carnival, Nike and a raft of pre-close updates from the UK utilities.
The changes to the FTSE 100 constituents announced a couple of weeks ago come into effect today. As a reminder, this sees a farewell to M&S, Micro Focus and Direct Line and a welcome to Hikma, Meggitt and Polymetal. Concurrently, M&S announced that its Finance Director (FD) is leaving, having been in the role for just over a year and marking the third change of FD in the last five years.