Market Prognosis

A concise summary of the major macro events of the past 24 hours, and selected UK company-specific news.

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March 14, 2024

Fears of persistent inflation


Concerns of persistently high inflation dominated markets yesterday.

The dollar has weakened as US 10-year yields increased to 4.2% and commodity prices increased with oil, precious metals, and copper all firming up.

US February PPI and retail sales data, out later today, will be closely watched for confirmation of these fears.

Meanwhile, the £ remained strong as UK GDP data exceeded expectations.

UK Companies

Alfa Financial reported a record TCV of £165.3m, up 16% (2022: £142.9m), with solid cash generation and 115% free cash flow conversion. Asset and automotive finance markets remain strong despite broader macro uncertainty. Alfa will continue to invest in technology and people.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange has signed a significant contract extension with Beeks to provide its Exchange Cloud services. This award supports the recently upwards revised Board expectations for FY25.

MusicMagpie, the circular economy pioneer of phone recycling and rental provider, reported that its Consumer Technology gross profit increased 15.8% from £20.2m to £23.4m. Year-end net debt was £13.1m (2022: £7.9m) following investment in rental assets. Its active renters will contribute approximately £3.6m of committed revenue into 2024 on rental assets of £7.2m. Its active subscribers to device rental service increased to 37,100. It reported a positive start to the new financial year.  

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