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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May 24, 2023

UK inflation lessons

Macro & Overnight

Oil prices firmed up on comments from a Saudi official hinting at some OPEC+ move and warning that short sellers would get caught out.

UK inflation was 8.7% for April, lower but stickier than expected compared to other countries, notably the US.

Yesterday BoE Governer Andrew Bailey told the Commons Select Committee that the Bank was still learning lessons about controlling inflation after previously blaming others for the problem, including Putin, Tesco, and British workers’ stubborn refusal to be made poorer.

We get FOMC minutes this evening.

UK Company News

Promotional products supplier 4imprint issued an AGM update of strong Q1 trading with a more cautionary outlook for H2. 

Scotch Malt Whisky Society owner, Artisanal Spirits, updated that membership has increased by 10%, benefitting in particular from a notably strong performance in Europe. It also saw signs of recovery in China, with new initiatives in South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. It is on course to deliver FY revenue and EBITDA within market consensus expectations.

Lender, asset manager and market maker Close Brothers reported that its loan book growth had accelerated with a solid net interest margin and stable credit performance. It reiterated that its approach to funding is based on the principle of “borrow long, lend short.” 

Testing and QA provider Intertek reported LFL revenue growth of 6.5%, saying that China was recovering with 7.5% LFL revenue growth. It confirmed a 2023 outlook of mid-single-digit LFL revenue growth at CCY, margin accretion and strong cash performance. 

The pensions consultant XPS updated that it continues to enjoy revenue growth of 20%, citing regulatory changes and increased demand for advice in response to financial market volatility. 

Prognosticator 

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