European stocks have rallied this morning as traders are hopeful about the next round of trade talks between the US and China. US trade delegates will fly to Beijing to reassume talks. Given that both sides are still far apart, there is no guarantee that the discussions will be successful, and dealer’s optimism might be wishful thinking. To an extent, some positive news is already priced in, and unless progress is made, we might be in for a repeat of Fridays’ move lower.
Acacia Mining (LON:ACAA) posted annual net earnings of $59 million, and that compared with a loss of $707 million in the previous year. Production costs and total output costs topped forecasts. The company said capital expenditure will drop between 8.6% and 19.3% this year, and no dividend was paid out in the year just gone. It is encouraging that the firm swung to profit, but if they are not paying a dividend, it suggests they are will a bit fragile. In recent months, the stock has struggled to crack the 200p mark, and a break above that metric might pave the way for further gains.
There is still talk that Smith & Nephew (LON:SN) are interested in acquiring NuVasive (NASDAQ:NUVA) for $3 billion. The London listed company is lower today as the stock handed back some of the ground it made at the back end of last week.
It was reported the weekend hat Virgin Media are contemplating making a bid for KCOM (LON:KCOM). Virgin Media is controlled by Liberty Global (NASDAQ:LBTYA) who have been investing heavily in the fibre optic sector.
Talk Talk (LON:TALK) shares are in the red after HSBC downgraded the stock to reduce from hold, and the cut the price target to 82p, from 115p.
GBP/USD is lower in the wake of disappointing economic updates from the UK. On an annual basis, the UK economy grew by 1.3% in the final-quarter of last year, while economists were expecting 1.4%. Adding to that, industrial production and manufacturing production both contracted in December, and both announcements undershot expectations.
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