Morning Financial Press Headlines
Paul Kettle
Press Review
06:43, 11th October 2018

Below are the key morning headlines from today’s papers, featuring the Financial Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail & more - see the full Press section here.

Wall Street is on its longest losing streak since Donald Trump’s election after resurfacing rate rise fears sparked a stocks rout on global markets. The S&P 500 slipped back into the red for a fifth straight day as a global stocks sell-off that spilled over from the end of last week intensified. The US producer price index – a key inflation indicator which tracks wholesale prices before they reach consumers – climbed for the first time in three months, stoking jitters over building inflationary pressures in the States. Investors fear that rising prices will force the Federal Reserve to keep up the brisk pace of interest rate rises well into next year. The FTSE 100 plunged to a fresh six-month low as concerns over higher borrowing costs and global growth combined to fuel the bloodbath. The Dow Jones tumbled as much as 1.6% in intraday trading while the DAX in Frankfurt closed 2.2% lower, its worst day in just under four months.

Some of Europe’s biggest names in fashion – including the UK’s Burberry Group (BRBY)  and Mulberry Group (MUL)  – sank after investment bank Morgan Stanley released a damning report on the sector. LVMH, the heavyweight owner of brands such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, reported stronger-than-expected sales in its fashion and leather goods divisions late on Tuesday. But a warning from the firm over what it described as an ‘uncertain geopolitical and monetary context’ put investors in flight.

Patisserie Holdings fights for survival after ‘£20m black hole’ found in accounts. The owner of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE)  faces a battle for survival after discovering an estimated £20 million-plus black hole in its accounts and being hit with a winding-up petition by Revenue & Customs over unpaid tax. Patisserie Holdings, where Luke Johnson is chairman and a 37% shareholder, is understood to have alerted the Serious Fraud Office after discovering “significant, potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities”.

Fevertree slump puts cap on a miserable month. Fevertree Drinks (FEVR)  lost a tenth of its value yesterday amid concern that demand for its pricey mixers among middle-class devotees is going flat. The sell-off capped a miserable month for the business, whose share price has fallen by a third since hitting a peak of £39.56 four weeks ago. The company has been a favourite of small investors and has ridden the fad for artisan gins and spirits. However, it has come under pressure recently over fears that the rampant demand for its tonic water is petering out. Sales growth in its home market slowed from 75.2% in the four weeks to August 12 to 37.7% in the subsequent four-week period, according to data from Nielsen, the research firm.

BP (BP.)  chief executive Bob Dudley has branded fears that the oil industry’s $1 trillion investments in oil and gas could be left stranded by a shift to low-carbon energy as misguided. The oil boss said campaigners calling for financial institutions to divest from oil and gas companies to avoid so-called ‘stranded assets’ are underestimating the flexibility of oil companies. The largest majors invest a total of $100bn in new fossil fuel projects every year, but could still adapt to a low-carbon world “in time” by reshaping their businesses “within a decade” and remaining  financially resilient, he said

Marston’s (MARS)  has shrugged off Brexit as “not a big issue”. The boss of the Wolverhampton-based company said it had identified “supply chain alternatives” to mitigate potential import blockages caused by Britain’s exit from the EU. Speaking as Marston’s posted a “strong year” of trading, chief executive Ralph Findlay was optimistic of successfully navigating any fall-out. “The majority of our concerns will come down to imports and how they are handled,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “For most categories we have got pretty good supply chain alternatives. If you take wine… there are new world wines that are just as good and in many cases provide cheaper options. “We import food and drink from Europe. But the key point is that there are identified alternative suppliers that we can use."

Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO)  was on the up after announcing another breakthrough for its proton beam therapy system. The treatment is designed to be cheaper and more efficient than any currently available in the UK. The firm added that work to create the first proton therapy centre, on London’s Harley Street, was on track to complete by the second half of 2020. Shares flew by 27.3%, or 9p, to 42p

Telford Homes (TEF)  shares tumbled after it issued a trading update. Though the firm said it had just 90 homes left to sell by March in order to achieve profits of £50million, it warned that plans for Britain to leave the EU were pushing down London property prices. Recent ‘negative commentary around the outcome of Brexit’ was adding to a ‘more general downturn in the market for expensive prime homes in London’, Telford said. Though the company focuses on more ‘affordable’ properties with an average price of £540,000, which it believes will continue to be in demand, shares still flopped 7%, or 27.5p, to 366.5p.

Mining company Vast Resources (VAST)  shot up 10.3%, or 0.06p, to 0.64p as it was granted approval from Romania’s government to open the Baita Plai metals mine. It is the first time such a licence has been granted in Romania for 19 years. Vast’s 80% stake in the mine is thought to be worth £37.6million, and currently the company itself is only trading at a value of £35million.

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