InfraStrata CEO John Wood delivers robust operational update Watch Now

LONDON MARKET PRE-OPEN: Reckitt To Pay USD1.4 Billion To Settle Probe

Thu, 11th Jul 2019 07:32

(Alliance News) - Stocks in London are set to open higher on Thursday in the wake of dovish remarks by the head of the US central bank and amid a higher oil price. In early company news, Reckitt Benckiser is set to pay up to USD1.4 billion to settle an investigation into practices by former unit Indivior, as Indivior separately announced a boost to its annual guidance following a strong-than-expected first half.IG says futures indicate the FTSE 100 index of large-caps to open 19.61 points higher at 7,550.30 on Thursday. The FTSE 100 index closed down 5.78 points, or 0.1%, at 7,530.69 on Wednesday.Stocks are called for a higher open after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell left the door open to an interest rate cut this month as he spoke to Congress.In remarks welcomed by Wall Street, Powell said many central bankers believed the case for lower rates "had strengthened" last month given the rising "crosscurrents" in the economy.In his highly anticipated testimony to Congress, Powell repeatedly stressed the importance of keeping the US economy growing to ensure its benefits reach Americans left at the margins and said the central bank will deploy all its tools to support continued expansion."In the wake of Powell's first day of testimony, the market sees a 25-basis-point cut as largely granted. On top, the activity on the US Treasury markets suggests that there are 25% chances for a 50-basis-point cut by the end of this month," noted Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at London Capital Group.In the US on Wednesday, Wall Street ended higher in the wake of Powell's comments, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average ending up 0.3%, the S&P 500 up 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite up 0.8%.This positive sentiment in stock markets largely flowed through to Asia on Thursday, with the Japanese Nikkei 225 index ending up 0.5%. In China, the Shanghai Composite is down 0.1%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong is 0.8% higher."UK's energy stocks will likely extend their advance as oil prices jumped on hope that the additional monetary stimulus from the Fed could improve the global demand," commented Ozkardeskaya.Brent oil was quoted at USD67.21 a barrel early Thursday, up from USD66.10 late Wednesday.Also boosting the price of oil were ongoing tensions in the Middle East, after the Royal Navy drove off three Iranian vessels which tried to stop a British commercial vessel from travelling through the Strait of Hormuz.The altercation came a day after Iran spoke out against Britain due to the interception of a supertanker believed to be breaching EU sanctions by carrying a shipment of crude oil to Syria."Contrary to international law, three Iranian vessels attempted to impede the passage of a commercial vessel, British Heritage, through the Strait of Hormuz," a Ministry of Defence spokesman told PA.The British Heritage tanker is owned by London-listed BP.On Wednesday Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted by the official IRNA news agency during a Cabinet meeting as saying last week's seizure of the supertanker off Gibraltar was "mean and wrong". He warned London: "You are an initiator of insecurity and you will understand its repercussions," without elaborating.Among listings on the London Stock Exchange, Reckitt Benckiser said it has agreed to pay up to USD1.4 billion to resolve an investigation into the sales and marketing of Suboxone Film. Suboxone Film contains buprenorphine, a controlled substance that is used an an opioid replacement for addicts.The agreement has been reached with the US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. Suboxone Film is a product owned by Indivior, Reckitt's former prescription pharmaceuticals business which was demerged from the Reckitt group in 2014. Indivior now is separately listed on the London Stock Exchange.The payment will fully resolve all federal investigations into Reckitt in connection to Indivior's indictment and claims relating to state Medicaid programs for those states choosing to participate in the settlement."While RB has acted lawfully at all times and expressly denies all allegations that it engaged in any wrongful conduct, after careful consideration, the board of RB determined that the agreement is in the best interests of the company and its shareholders," said Reckitt. The company continued: "It avoids the costs, uncertainty and distraction associated with continued investigations, litigation and the potential for an indictment at a time of significant transformation under RB 2.0 and during CEO transition."Nurofen painkiller maker Reckitt currently has a provision of USD400 million which it will increase to USD1.5 billion at its half-year results. Separately, Indivior on Thursday raised its guidance following a stronger than expected first half. Indivior - which did not mention the Reckitt announcement in its own on Thursday - now expects net revenue in a range of USD670 million to USD720 million, a sharp increase from previous forecasts of USD525 million to USD575 million. Net income is expected between USD80 million to USD130 million. Prior to this, the company had anticipated anything from a loss of USD40 million to income of USD10 million.The primary driver has been a market share outperformance from Suboxone Film, the company explained. "Our financial performance and strong cash position largely reflect the slower-than-expected pace of erosion of Suboxone Film and the sustained leadership position of the authorized generic buprenorphine/naloxone film that is being marketed by Sandoz," said Chief Executive Shaun Thaxter.Land Securities said Chief Executive Robert Noel intends to retire from the board in 2020. The property investor and developer said it will start a search process to identify his replacement, and Noel will remain in his role until a successor is appointment. Bonding and adhesives firm Scapa Group said its US subsidiary has filed a complaint against FTSE 250-listed medical products firm ConvaTec for breach of contract. This relates to a master supply agreement between ConvaTec and the subsidiary, Scapa Tapes North America. Scapa in June had it had received notice ConvaTec was terminating the agreement. Scapa Tapes is claiming damages of in excess of USD83.8 million. The five-year agreement had been a binding commitment for a minimum of USD30 million of revenue per year. "With the business well positioned for the current market, a growing pipeline and a clear strategy for the future, it's the right time for me to move on," said Noel.Workspace Group said it saw a "good level" of customer demand in a "busy and successful" first quarter for service officecompany. The firm said it saw enquiries averaging 1,060 per month, up from 1,021 a year ago, whiles lettings averages 121 a month versus 88 a year before."It has been a busy and successful quarter for the company. Our distinctive flexible offer continues to attract strong demand from a broad range of customers, despite the challenging economic environment," said Interim Chief Executive Graham Clemett The economic events calendar has US inflation readings at 1330 BST. In addition, the Bank of England will release its financial stability report at 1030 BST and Powell returns to Congress at 1500 BST.

Related Shares

More News

UK Earnings, Trading Statements Calendar - Next 7 Days

Wednesday 17 July Watches of Switzerland GroupFull Year Results Premier OilTrading

16 Jul 19 16:00

UK Shareholder Meetings Calendar - Next 7 Days

Wednesday 17 JulyBloomsbury PublishingAO WorldPremier FoodsCodemasters International

16 Jul 19 15:59

Morgan Stanley sounds note of caution over tobacco in otherwise upbeat HPC review

(Sharecast News) - Morgan Stanley has backed the household, personal care and cosmetics sector - but sounded a note of warning about tobacco companies.

15 Jul 19 12:51

LONDON MARKET CLOSE: Pound Sees FTSE 100 End Lower As US Stocks Rise

(Alliance News) - Stocks in London ended mixed on Thursday as the strong pound hindered the FTSE 100, while US equity markets continued to prosper from the dovish comments on Wednesday from Chair

11 Jul 19 17:05

Login to your account

Don't have an account? Click here to register.