Welcome to Wednesday’s blog
Good morning. Yesterday was a bright day for the FTSE 100, which saw its biggest gains in seven sessions after a poor day of trading for the pound.
The currency spent the London session below the five-month high of $1.30 that was reached yesterday. The pound fell after MPs in Westminster rejected the Government’s timetable for implementing the Brexit Withdrawal Bill.
5 things to start your day
1) Canadian copper miner Taseko is preparing to list in London as it seeks to woo more investors who can fund its expansion. The firm – which is already on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges – runs Canada’s second largest copper mine, and is about to start production at another site in Arizona.
2) Taxpayer spending on fracking protests and security hits £13m: The full cost of the shale gas industry to government departments, regulators, police forces and local authorities has reached £32.7m in less than a decade, according to research from the National Audit Office.
3) The UK’s security services have revealed details of a previously secret operation to block criminals from making fraudulent purchases using stolen credit card information. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a division of spy agency GCHQ, said Operation Haulster has stopped millions of pounds being stolen from families by hackers.
4) Boeing is facing fresh woes as Kevin McAllister becomes the first senior executive to be ousted from the company amid its 737 MAX crisis. Mr McAllister, who joined the firm three years ago, was replaced immediately by Stan Deal, chief executive of Boeing’s services division.
5) More shoppers will be able to buy milk, butter and bread from hundreds of local corner shops as Uber Eats, the loss-making takeaway app, makes its first foray into the competitive grocery arena. The tech company has inked a deal with Costcutter, the convenience store chain, which will allow more than 1,700 shops to sell everyday items via the app across the country,
What happened overnight
Stocks in Asia headed for a mixed start Wednesday after developments on Brexit sapped risk appetite, dragging US shares lower with Treasury yields. The pound sank.
Equity futures dropped in Japan and were little changed in both Hong Kong and Australia.
Coming up today
It has been something of a year from hell for Metro Bank, with a cancelled bond sale last month preceding the announcement that its founder and chairman Vernon Hill would step down from the challenger lender’s board.
Though Metro was later able to complete a £350m fundraising effort, initial issues with the sale arrived amid low shareholder confidence after a share price crash, an accounting scandal and fears over the future of the lender following poor results.
Despite the headaches, Jefferies analysts have kept a “buy” rating on Metro’s shares – which are down about 85pc this year – but said store openings and loan growth are both expected to be weak in its third quarter results today.
“The big test for Metro Bank is not whether the worst is behind them,” said CMC Markets’ Michael Hewson, “but whether new management can turn around market perceptions of competence, and restore trust at a time when margins in UK banks are already tight, and competition is fierce.”
Preliminary results: Filtronic, Softcat
Interim: Antofagasta, Centamin, Fresnillo, HarbourVest, Hochschild Mining, Quilter, Metro Bank