Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Tuesday 1 September 2020

1st September 2020

In the news

  • Lebanon names diplomat Mustapha Adib as prime minister
  • Argentina clinches near-unanimous backing for debt restructuring
  • Dubai to tap bond markets after Covid-19 funding squeeze
  • Facebook threatens to block news-sharing in Australia

Politics today

  • Parliament returns from recess
  • The prime minister chairs Cabinet at 10 a.m.
  • Hancock has health questions at 2.30 p.m., when he will give the first coronavirus update to the House for months
  • Hundreds of thousands of children across England will start to head back to school this morning
  • Boris Johnson’s top advisers are about to pack up their desks at No. 10 and move to a new office at 70 Whitehall, as senior aide Dominic Cummings installs his hotly anticipated “mission control” at the heart of the government.

Stock market moves

  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 opened flat and the STOXX 600 opened down 0.3%.
  • Australian stocks tumbled after China detained an Australian television anchor in the latest escalation of tensions between Beijing and Canberra. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell as much as 2.5% in early trading and were down 1.7% in the afternoon in Sydney.
  • Elsewhere in Asia Pacific, Japan’s benchmark Topix index was off 0.2% on Tuesday afternoon while China’s CSI 300 index of Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed stocks edged up 0.1%.
  • Futures markets tipped US stocks to add 0.1% when trading begins on Wall Street.
  • In currencies, the pound touched its strongest level against the dollar at $1.3414 since the end of 2019 as the US currency continued to lose ground against international peers.

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

M&G PLC M&G plc completes acquisition of Ascentric
  • The Group today announces the completion of its acquisition of the UK Wealth Management platform Ascentric from the Royal London Group.
  • The acquisition brings £15.5bn of assets under administration to M&G as well as relationships with more than 1,500 UK advisory firms acting on behalf of over 90,000 individual customers.
  • CEO, Rob Regan, will continue to lead Ascentric, sitting on the Customer and Distribution leadership team led by M&G Chief Customer and Distribution Officer, David Macmillan.
Standard Life Aberdeen PLC Directorate Change
  • Following the announcement of 30 June 2020, the Board of Standard Life Aberdeen plc confirms that the relevant regulatory approvals have been received for the appointment of Stephen Bird. 
  • Accordingly, Keith Skeoch has resigned from the Board as CEO and Executive Director and Stephen Bird has taken up the role of CEO, both effective from 1 September 2020.
Dunelm Group PLC Trading Update
  • Sales have been strong in the last two months, with total year over year sales growth up 59% in July, partly as a result of pent up demand following the store closure period and the timing of theSummer Sale, and up 24% in August.
  • This performance reflects the strength of the Group’s proposition within a resilient homewares market, positive footfall growth to its mainly out-of-town superstores and continued strong growth in its home delivery offer.
  • Whilst the year to date performance has been materially ahead of initial expectations, it is very difficult to provide any meaningful guidance on the future outlook given the uncertainty in the wider economy and the potential impact of further regional or national lockdowns.