Weekly Investment Update
10 May 2017 to 16 May 2017

Business News
Due to a significant write down in the value of its Indian business Vodafone has reported an annual loss of £5.2bn. Meanwhile, Vodafone’s South African subsidiary Vodacom has paid £2bn for a 35% stake in Kenya’s Safaricom.

Nissan has seen improved sales in China, Europe and the US leading to annual net profits rising 27% to £4.5bn for the year to March. Elsewhere, Toyota reported a fall in profits of 21% to £12.4bn after higher costs and currency movements hit its bottom line.

Q1 profits at 21st Century Fox fell 5% to £618m as advertising on its cable networks stalled as well as a lack of big blockbuster movie releases. Revenues rose 5% to £6.2bn. Meanwhile, ITV saw a 3% dip in revenues to £731m, whilst revenues from its in – house studio operations rose 7% to £343m.

Airline easyJet has reported a £212m loss for the six months to March, despite 9% increase in passengers and revenues rising 3% to £1.8bn. TJX the retail group, which owns the TK Maxx chain in the UK, has seen sales for Q1 rise 3% to £6bn with profits up 5.5% to £414m.

Telecoms giant BT has announced plans to cut 4,000 jobs worldwide over the next two years.

Econominc News
UK inflation, as measured by CPI, rose to 2.7% in April, from 2.3% in March. Higher air fares and clothing costs contributed to the rise. The new preferred inflation measure of CPIH, which includes housing costs, rose from 2.3% to 2.6%.

In the three months to March unemployment in the UK fell to its lowest level since 1975. Unemployment stood at 4.6%, whilst the employment rate for 16 to 64 year olds was 74.8%, the highest since 1971 when records began.

For the first time since 2012 the Greek economy fell into recession. The country’s GDP output fell by 0.1% in Q1 after declining 1.2% in Q4 2016. Elsewhere, Germany’s GDP growth for Q1 rose to 0.6% driven by consumer spending.

Following plans by Saudi Arabia and Russia to extend a cut in oil production, oil prices rose more than 3% over the
weekend. The price of US cotton futures has leapt by almost 4% to its highest price since 2014, 87.18 cents.

A government study has shown people in the UK throw away 1.4m edible bananas each day, worth £80m a year. An average UK family throws away £700 of food a year.

Courtesy of Legal & General
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