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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April 17, 2024

UK inflation falls less than expected

Macro

UK headline inflation is falling more slowly than expected, declining to 3.2% in March versus the consensus of 3.1%. UK PPI data remains negative, but overall rate cut hopes are likely to be deferred, and hopes of the BoE going it alone seem less likely.

Powell felt the need to rule out the likelihood of rate rises in the US before acknowledging that inflation data YTD meant the Fed would maintain its tightening stance for longer.

UK Companies

Hunting update reports Q1 trading in line with its expectations. Slower start to year from Perforating Systems with a soft US onshore market but more robust international sales. It maintained guidance. 

Structural steel group Severfield reported trading slightly ahead of expectations, a record UK and Europe order book, a share buyback programme, and a positive outlook slightly ahead of previous guidance (Progressive note here). 

Workspace rental growth was 1.9% in the quarter, with like-for-like rent roll-up up 9.6% since 31 March 2023. Occupancy was broadly stable at 88.1% £145m of cash and undrawn facilities and a proforma LTV of 34%.

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