29 June

@cstreetpartners

Good Morning 

Mr. Robot, the acclaimed hacker drama starring Christian Slater, has won plaudits for its realistic depiction of digital vulnerability in the modern world. This morning, as businesses and governments in Europe, Asia and the United States assess the damage caused by software corruption epidemic that has disrupted ports, hospitals, and banks, you could be forgiven for thinking you were watching the show’s highly anticipated third season and wondering when Mr Slater might make an appearance.

Researchers at Kaspersky Lab, a global cybersecurity company, revealed that more than 2,000 attacks have been carried out so far. Ukraine was hit hardest, suggesting the attack might have been politically motivated, although Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft was also targeted. The source of the virus is still unknown, with some experts pointing towards a piece of Ukrainian tax-filing software, MeDoc, although its creators deny it was to blame.

 The attack, dubbed GoldenEye, is believed to have been designed to cause chaos rather than extort money. The virus has affected companies in 64 countries to date, including shipping giant AP Moller-Maersk, British advertising company WPP, and US law firm DLA Piper. Yesterday, Europol warned that this second cyberattack in as many months to strike systems around the world was more sophisticated than the first one and is still spreading.

Jens Stoltenberg, the Nato secretary general, said a fortnight ago that a cyberattack could potentially trigger Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty - the principle of collective defence - in the same way as a conventional military assault might. Stoltenberg made the remarks ahead of a defence meeting in Brussels yesterday and has promised more help to Ukraine to bolster its cyber defences.

Technology experts have warned that cyberattacks will become more sophisticated and more frequent and that cyberwarfare is a new reality that is here to stay. Sounds like we can expect the line between hacker fiction and fact to become increasingly blurry. 

News

Four former senior policemen are among six people to be charged over the  Hillsborough stadium disaster, more than 28 years on from the tragedy which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool FC supporters. Sue Hemming, head of special crime and counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) confirmed that former Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield faces 95 charges of manslaughter. Five other senior figures will be prosecuted. Last year, a new inquest into the disaster concluded that fans had been unlawfully killed.

The public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster will be led by a retired Court of Appeal judge, Sir Martin Moore-Bick. Sir Martin, who became a QC in 1986 and was appointed to the High Court in 1995, is highly respected in the legal profession. Meanwhile, police confirmed the final death toll at Grenfell will not be known until at least the end of the year, with 80 people currently presumed dead, most of them from just 23 of the 129 flats in the building.

Cardinal George Pell, Australia's most senior Catholic cleric, has been charged with sex offences. Cardinal Pell, who is based in the Vatican and serves as the Pope's chief financial adviser, has been ordered to appear before Melbourne Magistrates' Court on 18 July. Pell denies the allegations and has been granted a leave of absence by the Pope so he can fight the charges.

Business & Economy

The US Federal Reserve has given the green light to all 34 of the country’s biggest banks to raise their dividends and buy back shares, judging their financial foundations sturdy enough to withstand a major economic downturn. It was the first time in seven years of annual "stress tests" that every US bank assessed won approval for its capital plans. All have at least $50 billion in assets.

Culture Secretary Karen Bradley is to announce whether 21st Century Fox will be allowed to complete its takeover of Sky later today. Fox wants to fully acquire Sky, in a deal worth £11.7 billion ($14.9 billion) and by buying the shares in the European paid-for TV operator that it does not already own. The company needs approval for the deal in all of the territories in which it operates, and has so far been given the green light in Austria, Germany, Italy, and the Republic of Ireland. The European Union has also given the deal its blessing.

The iPhone, the device that started the smartphone revolution, is 10 years old today. Apple has sold more than one billion iPhones since launching the product on June 29, 2007. Fans and investors are now looking forward to a special 10th anniversary iPhone 8, expected on High Streets this autumn. New features may include 3D mapping sensors, support for "augmented reality" apps that would merge virtual and real worlds, and a new display with organic LEDs, which are light and flexible, according to analysts at Bernstein Research.

Markets

The FTSE 100 Index was down 46.56 points at 7,387.8, with multinational stocks hit as sterling surged one per cent against the US dollar at 1.294, a rise of 0.66%. 

Commodities-related stocks helped limit losses, as oil and metals prices traded higher. The biggest riser on the London index was International Consolidated Airlines Group up 3.87% at 630p.

Fashion chain Burberry led the FTSE 100 fallers at the close of trading, shedding 3.4%, after the UK’s Investment Association urged shareholders to vote against the retailer’s executive compensation package at the annual meeting on July 13. Burberry was followed by pharmaceuticals firm Shire, which lost 2.5%.

On the FTSE 250, Stagecoach fell by 6.2% after reporting a plunge in annual profits. The FTSE 250 ended the day 0.26% - or 50.45 points - lower at 19,476.35.

Finals

Dixons Carphone, Handa Trust, Hayward Tyler Group, Stagecoach Group 

AGMs

Alecto Minerals plc (ALO)

Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ)

Ariana Resources Plc (AAU)

Auctus Growth plc (AUCT)

Avocet Mining plc (AVM)

Baron Oil (BOIL)

Bezant Resources plc (BZT)

Cogenpower plc (CGP)

Eden Research plc (EDEN)

Energiser Investments Plc (ENGI)

fastjet plc (FJET)

Fox Marble, Holdings Plc (FOX)

Hague and London Oil plc (HNL)

Herencia Resources plc (HER)

Immupharma Plc (IMM)

Inspiration Healthcare Group Plc (IHC)

JKX Oil & Gas (JKX)

Kibo Mining plc (KIBO)

London Capital

Group (LCG)

Nostra Terra Oil & Gas Co plc (NTOG)

Rotala Plc (ROL)

Tissue Regenix Group plc (TRX)

TLA Worldwide plc (TLA)

UK Economic Announcements

(1:00) GFK Consumer Confidence

(9:30) Current Account

(9:30) Gross Domestic Product

(9:30) Index of Services

Int. Economic Announcements

(7:00) Import Price Index (GER)

(7:00) Retail Sales (GER)

(13:30) Personal Consumption Expenditures (US)

(13:30) Personal Income (US)

(13:30) Personal Spending (US)

(14:45) Chicago PMI (US)

(15:00) U. of Michigan Confidence (US) 

Final Results

Eco Animal Health Group plc (EAH)

PurpleBricks Group plc (PURP)

Servision Plc (SEV)

TLA Worldwide plc (TLA)

Columns of Note

The editor of 1843 magazine, Emma Duncan, writes in The Times today, and looks back at a decade of the iPhone, examining how Apple’s most popular device has become an indispensable tool for many. The author volunteered to live without her iPhone for some time and shares her experience. 

Reflecting on the first Prime Minister’s Questions since the Grenfell Tower disaster, Jane Merrick regrettably concludes that the MPs couldn’t help “turning it into another political slanging match”. Merrick says that despite Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempts to open the session by setting a bipartisan tone, the exchange soon turned sour. 

Did you know?

A 16-year-old’s request for a year’s supply of chicken nuggets from American fast food chain Wendy’s has been retweeted over 3.6m times – making it the most popular tweet of 2017 so far: http://bit.ly/2oQReJe

Parliamentary highlights

TODAY

House of Commons

Oral Questions

Culture, Media and Sport (including Topical Questions)

Attorney General

Debate on the Address

Economy and Jobs

House of Lords

Oral Questions

Number of unaccompanied child refugees have entering the UK under the Immigration Act 2016 or the Dublin III regulations - Lord Dubs

Consultation on opening senior police posts to individuals without previous professional police experience - Lord Blair of Boughton

Commitment to equality in the light of the hung parliament - Baroness Burt of Solihull

Scottish Parliament

First Minister's Questions

Debate on the Commission on Parliamentary Reform's Report on the Scottish Parliament

TOMORROW

House of Commons

No business scheduled.

House of Lords

No business scheduled.

 Scottish Parliament

No business scheduled.