04 July 2018

Stuart Taylor

04 July 2018

Good Morning

It was a late one for newsdesks as they awaited the outcome of last night’s penalty shoot-out between England and Colombia before pressing the publish button on today’s papers.
 
As a result of the heroics of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, we are treated (depending on your persuasion of course) to scenes of celebration (and relief) across the front pages. Given the treatment meted out to previous England managers at the end of past World Cup failures, I’m sure Gareth Southgate is a relieved man this morning.
 
The spirit of togetherness that got England over the line in Moscow continues to elude the British Cabinet as The Times looks ahead to the Cabinet’s Brexit discussions later this week. The prime minister has apparently asked Philip Hammond and Greg Clark to speak at Friday’s meeting at Chequers and warn colleagues of the risks of pushing for a hard exit, setting out the possible implications for tax and business confidence.
 
Despite time for negotiation rapidly running out, it is understood that four options remain on the table and each will be discussed during the Buckinghamshire retreat. However, it appears Theresa May is keen to more clearly illustrate the implications of each of those options and has asked Hammond and Clark to deliver some tough messages.
 
The chancellor will convey the Treasury’s belief that the recently-promised £25 billion cash injection for the NHS is only fundable if Britain opts for a Norway-style soft Brexit – the PM’s favoured option - but not if it leaves the EU with a 'bare bones deal'. Greg Clark, the business secretary, will use recent interventions by BMW and Airbus to champion the voice of business and articulate their hopes for a customs partnership post-Brexit.  

News

The Electoral Commission is expected to say that the official Brexit campaign is guilty of four charges of breaking electoral law. An investigation found that Vote Leave broke spending limits and failed to comply with some of the rules.
 
Police on the Isle of Bute have confirmed that the death of a six-year-old schoolgirl is to be treated as murder. The case has become a murder inquiry following a post-mortem examination on Alesha MacPhail, whose body was found in woodland on Monday.
 
Austria’s prime minister has said the country will tighten its borders in a move that threatens to undermine freedom of movement principles in the Schengen zone. The decision by Sebastian Kurz to introduce such measures comes after a deal was reached on migrants by Angela Merkel. (£)

Business & Economy 

Sainbury’s has agreed a £3.5bn financing package “on attractive terms” to fund the cash element of its takeover of Asda. Announcing it at this morning’s trading update, the retailer also reported a better than expected sales performance in the three months to the end of June. (£)
 
American authorities have ordered Glencore to hand over documents relating to its business activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela and Nigeria dating back more than 10 years. The decision by the Department of Justice to issue a subpoena ordering Glencore to produce documents raised alarm in investors, causing more than £4 billion to be wiped off the company’s market value. (£)
 
The British Retail Consortium has called on UK ministers to reform business rates as they demand a two-year freeze and a town centre policy review. The industry body described rates as “an outdated and unfair tax” on retail companies and says they should be scrapped. (£)

The governing body for European football has reopened an investigation into the sponsorship contracts of Paris Saint-Germain that could see the big-spending French side kicked out of European competition. The investigation will look at whether the French club had complied with so-called financial fair play (FFP) rules intended to force clubs to spend within their means. (£)

Markets

What happened yesterday?
The FTSE 100 ended the day slightly higher yesterday after investor concerns about US trade tariffs offset gains in technology, pharmaceuticals and utility stocks. The blue-chip index closed 45.4 points or 0.6% higher to 7,593.29. BT was the headline performer yesterday, rising 2.8% to 223p.
 
The more UK-focused FTSE 250 also closed higher, rising 59.4 points or 0.3% ahead to 20,665.22. The big winner was Paragon Banking Group, which climbed as much as 8.7% to 511.5p after announcing it acquired a residential development finance lender to assist the business to diversify into more lending markets.
 
It was more of a mixed bag for world stocks as a global trade conflict and concerns about China continue to weigh heavily on the market. The S&P 500 was down 0.1% despite energy stocks performing well, and losses in Facebook contributed to the Nasdaq dropping 0.5% lower. Shares in the tech giant were down 2% following concerns over fresh data breaches.
 
Elsewhere, a more constructive outlook for the German political landscape helped the pan-European Stoxx 600 end 0.8% higher, and the Xetra Dax in Frankfurt to rise 0.9%.

AGMs
Arricano Real Estate (DI)
Carador Income Fund USD Shares
Distil
Mckay Securities
Mountfield Group
NewRiver REIT
Northern 3 VCT
Obtala Limited
Oakley Capital Investments Ltd. (DI)
OptiBiotix Health
TwentyFour Select Monthly Income Fund Limited

 

Finals
Artemis Alpha Trust

Interims
Staffline Group

UK Economic Announcements
(00:01) BRC Shop Price Index
(09:30) PMI Services
 
International Economic Announcements
(08:55) PMI Composite (GER)
(08:55) PMI Services (GER)
(10:00) PMI Composite (EU)
(10:00) PMI Services (EU)
(12:00) MBA Mortgage Applications (US)

Columns of Note

Donald Trump is at war with the liberal world order. That is the view of Martin Wolf, writing in his latest column for the FT. He says that Trump’s attitudes towards China and the EU threatens to shatter the foundations of the postwar economic and security order and the rest of the world should be wary and act accordingly. (£)
  
Citing China’s efforts to reclaim Taiwan, The Times’s Roger Boyes says that it is in the interests of all democratic societies to resist the stifling of a small democracy by a hostile power by communicating their principles explicitly and making efforts to strip “the Xi autocracy of some of its arrogance”. (£)

Did you know? 

London, Paris and New York all have ‘townhouses’ which are actually facades hiding subway ventilation/maintenance systems.

Parliamentary highlights 

 

TODAY
 
House of Commons
Oral questions
International Development (including Topical Questions)

Prime Minister's Question Time

Legislation
Proceedings on the Supply and Appropriation (Main Estimates) Bill - 2nd and 3rd readings

Ivory Bill - remaining stages

House of Lords
Oral questions
Commissioning an independent review of the Brexit negotiations after March 2019 - Lord Strasburger

Impact on financial exclusion of (1) bank branch closures, and (2) moves to restrict the use of cash as a means of payment - Baroness Tyler of Enfield

Outcomes of the Western Balkans Summit in London in July - Lord Wallace of Tankerness

Supporting high street retailers and strengthening town centre economies -Baroness Pinnock

Legislation
Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill [HL] - Consideration of Commons amendments - Baroness Sugg

Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill - Third reading - Lord Henley

Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Bill - Report stage - Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

Scottish Parliament
In recess until 3 September

TOMORROW

House of Commons
Oral questions
Transport (including Topical Questions)
 
General debate
The principle of proxy voting in the House of Commons

House of Lords
Oral questions
Ensuring that NHS patients have equitable access to artificial intelligence, genomic medicine, new drugs,and innovative treatments. - Baroness Thornton
 
Ensuring Government strategy for NHS and social care services recognises the importance of parity of esteem - Baroness Wheeler
 
What plans the Government have to amend or repeal that Health and Social Care Act 2012 - Lord Hunt of Kings Heath
 
Risks to the NHS and implications for access to medical supplies as a result of leaving the EU with no withdrawal agreement - Lord Bassam of Brighton