Investor Alert

April 15, 2019, 5:47 a.m. EDT

London markets edge up as growth fears on hold

IWG soars on deal news

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By Dave Morris


London shares nudged slightly higher Monday as investors looked for clarity on global economic growth worries.

How did markets perform?

In the U.K., the FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.10%  was up 0.1% to 7,440.9. It closed up 0.3% Friday.

The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD -0.5261%  was flat at 1.3099. It had ticked up 0.1% Friday.

What’s moving the markets?

Markets continued to be impressed by Friday’s China data, which surprised to the upside in exports and saw a significant increase in loan growth. There was much discussion on the weekend about whether the improving China data, offsetting global growth fears, would continue to support equities.

Read: Global policy makers say they’re willing to ‘shore up growth’ to avoid world slowdown

Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, suggested growth fears could easily return. “China’s GDP data due on Wednesday will also be closely scrutinized and could act as a drag on risk appetite [as] China’s GDP is expected to tick lower to 6.3% year on year in Q1, down from 6.4%. Given how sensitive investors are to any weakness in China, risk appetite could be under pressure again from mid-week,” he said, in a note to clients.

International Monetary Fund officials meeting in Washington D.C. issued a joint communique warning on global economic growth, following a downbeat assessment by the IMF’s chief economist on April 10. Leaders warned of the dangers of protectionism, and vowed to “mitigate risks, enhance resilience, and, if necessary, act promptly to shore up growth” if conditions deteriorated.

In earnings news, U.S. banks Goldman Sachs Group Inc. /zigman2/quotes/209237603/composite GS -1.24%  and Citigroup Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207741460/composite C -1.65%   as well as Canadian legal cannabis maker Aphria Inc.  will be closely watched.

Which stocks are active?

Office space provider IWG Plc /zigman2/quotes/207263311/delayed UK:IWG -1.98%  announced it would sell its Japanese arm to TKP Corp. for $418.8 million. The company, formerly known as Regus, will allow TKP to use the Regus, Spaces and OpenOffice brands in Japan and other services in exchange for a continuing platform fee. IWG shares shot up a whopping 21.7%.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, noted that IWG has borrowed heavily amid competition from co-working office providers like WeWork. “More fluid working patterns have driven demand for the kind of options offered by IWG but in the past three years earnings have slipped, the company has had to step up investment and borrowings have increased by more than three times to £461 million,” he told clients in a note.

Tanzania-based, U.K.-listed gold miner Acacia Mining Plc   slumped 2.8% on news that production in the first quarter was down 13% year over year following operational issues at its North Mara mine. Acacia’s parent company, Barrick Gold Corp., /zigman2/quotes/209252292/delayed CA:ABX +0.52%  announced an $18 billion merger with Randgold Resources in January.

-6.89 -0.10%
Volume: 576,941
Dec. 3, 2021 4:59p
US : Tullett Prebon
-0.0070 -0.5261%
Volume: 0.0000
Dec. 3, 2021 4:59p
$ 382.73
-4.81 -1.24%
Volume: 2.81M
Dec. 3, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$129.75 billion
Rev. per Employee
$ 62.76
-1.05 -1.65%
Volume: 25.46M
Dec. 3, 2021 4:02p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$126.62 billion
Rev. per Employee
UK : U.K.: London
277.10 p
-5.60 -1.98%
Volume: 871,529
Dec. 3, 2021 4:35p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
£2.85 billion
Rev. per Employee
CA : Canada: Toronto
$ 23.39
+0.12 +0.52%
Volume: 3.01M
Dec. 3, 2021 5:00p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$41.40 billion
Rev. per Employee

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