12 September

@lyle_h_hill

12 September

Good morning, 

Apple was left scrambling to find the source of a leak yesterday, which prematurely outlined Tim Cook’s official launch in California later this afternoon.

A revamped iPhone X is expected to be the main headline. The new iPhone is expected to feature facial recognition technology as its standout new feature. Alongside this new iPhone, Apple will launch an iPhone 8, a slightly cheaper alternative to the new X phone, with fewer updates.

The trademark Apple launch events have never been undermined by such a significant leak before and it will be interesting to see how consumers and the markets react to these new products that have had some of their initial suspense removed.

Back at home, in a world more accustomed to leaks and machinations, the EU repeal bill won its first Commons vote late last night. Unlike the Apple launch, there wasn't much that was new or shiny in government's bill, which passed by 326 votes to 290.

However, Theresa May's government won't get it all their own way as the bill makes its way through the parliamentary process. Conservative backbench MPs are already believed to have tabled amendments to the bill, which may end up looking somewhat different by the time it reaches its final vote.

Regardless, last night Theresa May was stoic, arguing that the bill offered "certainty and clarity". I suspect there are few, even amongst her own government ministers, who would agree wholeheartedly with that assessment.

NEWS

The UN has imposed fresh, significant sanctions on North Korea, limiting oil imports and banning textile exports, following North Korea's largest nuclear test. The sanctions are intended to starve the North Korean weapons programme of the resources it needs for future developments. The US had originally demanded a full ban on oil imports.

The BBC has spoken to Rohingya Muslims who were injured by Myanmar army land mines as they attempted to flee the country to Bangladesh. The crisis shows no signs of abating in the country and the UN has described the situation as "textbook ethnic cleansing" as more than 300,000 Rohingya have escaped to Bangladesh.
 
The foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, will fly to the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla later today to see the relief effort first hand. The British government's response to Hurricane Irma has been met with wide-spread criticism in the Caribbean territories. Island leaders have suggested that the response was too slow, a criticism Johnson has labelled "completely unjustified".

Theresa May has asked Donald Trump to intervene in a trade dispute between Boeing and its Canadian rival Bombardier. The dispute could lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in Belfast and May has acted after pressure from the DUP. Boeing has accused Bombardier of receiving unfair state support and a US ruling on the issue could see the Belfast plant close.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Samsung announced this morning, just ahead of the new iPhone launch, that pre-orders of its latest smartphone Galaxy Note 8 were exceeding expectations. The good news will be welcome for the South Korean company following a string of scandals, including last year's flammable phone issues and the recent sentencing of the Samsung heir for bribery.

Carillion, the embattled construction and outsourcing group, has announced that four executives will be leaving the company in an attempt to turn round the fortunes of the business. A profit warning earlier in the year had raised questions about the viability of the group and led to the appointment of Keith Cochrane, non-executive director and former CEO of Weir Group, as interim chief executive.

In M&A news, Hastings Group and the AA have cleared up media speculation following a Financial Times story concerning the potential combination of AA's insurance business with Hastings, noting in announcements to the stock exchange this morning that preliminary discussions took place, but "have ceased". Elsewhere, the CMA has approved Wood Group's £2.2bn purchase of Amec Foster Wheeler, in an announcement confirming that Wood Group's offer to sell Amec's North Sea assets had cleared its competition concerns.

MARKETS

The FTSE 100 started the week with overall gains, closing 0.5% higher at 7,413.5.

British Land had a good day, boosted by an upgrade from Deutsche Bank analysts from 'hold' to 'buy'.

Associated British Foods finished down 3.2% following a trading update. Analysts attributed the fall to profit taking, noting that the stock hit a 12 month high at the start of the month. ABF had announced that group operating profits will be "well ahead" of last year as Primark has reduced levels of price promotion.

Meanwhile, the biggest riser on the FTSE 350 was Provident Financial, up 3.6% on the back of an article in The Telegraph over the weekend that suggested the subprime lender was planning changes to its doorstep lending business. The company is in the process of reversing a restructure that led to a profit warning.

Finals
InnovaDerma, Murgitroyd Group, TyraTech Inc, Vermalis pls
 
AGMs
Ashtead Group, Bushveld Minerals Limited, Daejan Holdings, Emmerson, Limitless Earth, Mulberry Group, Oxford Instruments, Supergroup

Interims
Flowtech Fluidpower, Goals Soccer Centres, Hilton Food Group, Hydrogen Group, JD Sports Fashion, Manx Telecom, Smart Metering Systems, STM Group, Tasty

UK Economic Announcements
(09:30) Consumer Price Index
(09:30) Producer Price Index
(09:30) Retail Price Index

COLUMNS OF NOTE

Rachel Sylvester, writing in The Times, argues that the Tories will struggle to win the current generation of younger voters. She believes they will never forgive the Tories for presiding over a widening generational divide, regardless of new policies on housing and student fees.

Norman Tebbit, in The Telegraph, argues that the UK should bring back national service for the young unemployed and send them abroad to help with natural disaster relief. According to Tebbit, this would benefit society by instilling a sense of pride.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Olympic rings were designed in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, co-founder of the modern Olympics. Each ring was intended to represent the five participating continents: Africa, Asia, America, Australia and Europe.

PARLIAMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS

TODAY

House of Commons
Oral questions
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (including Topical Questions)

Legislation
Finance Bill - 2nd reading - Mel Stride

House of Lords
Oral questions
Ensuring that victims of domestic violence have access to safe and secure accommodation in both the short- and long-term - Baroness Donaghy
Ensuring mental and physical health conditions in the health insurance market are treated equally - Lord Blunkett
Progress the Government has made with their 'Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures' - Lord Clement-Jones

Debate
Position papers and future partnership papers published by the Government on the UK's future relationship with the EU - Baroness Anelay of St Johns

Scottish Parliament
Ministerial statement
European Union Withdrawal Bill
Common Agricultural Policy, A Plan to Stabilise Future Payments
Response to the Report of the Barclay Review of Non-Domestic Rates


TOMORROW

House of Commons
Oral questions
Northern Ireland

Prime Minister's Question Time

Adjournment
Employment tribunals - Mike Penning

House of Lords
Oral questions
Comprehensive timetable for Brexit negotiations with the EU; and the public availability of all relevant documents - Lord Foulkes of Cumnock
Addressing concerns about the breeding of dogs and cats - Lord Black of Brentwood
Implementing the Government commitment to bring 480 unaccompanied child refugees from Europe to the UK - Lord Dubs

Legislation
Financial Guidance and Claims Bill [HL] - Committee stage (day 4) - Committee of the Whole House - Baroness Buscombe

Scottish Parliament
Portfolio questions
Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform
Rural Economy and Connectivity

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Debate
Housing