FTSE 100 heading lower ahead of Supreme Court Brexit hearing
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 The FTSE 100 is tipped to continue falling on Tuesday as markets remain nervy following the drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Tuesday also sees the Supreme Court trial kick off to consider whether Boris Johnson broke the law by proroguing parliament for five weeks ahead of Britain's scheduled exit from the EU. London’s blue chip index was being called 31 points lower to around 7314 by spread betters in the City, following a day when it lost just over 46 points or 0.6%. US and Asian stocks have suffered too, while oil prices remain elevated. The Dow Jones lost almost 143 points or 0.5% overnight to 27,076.82, but the broader S&P and the tech-heavy the Nasdaq were both down only 0.3%. President Donald Trump said it “looks” like Iran was behind the attack, but his comments implied there was no military response planned soon. Trump will also be watching the Federal Reserve as policymakers start their two-day meeting today. The President has been putting pressure on Fed chief Jerome Powell to make a significant cut to interest rates, but there is no news due on Tuesday and little top-tier macro data. What will gain plenty of interest and could move the pound, is the Supreme Court trial, which is being livestreamed from Parliament Square as Britain's most senior judges will hear cases brought by MPs and activists against Johnson’s suspension of parliament. The affair kicks off at 10.30 am but is not expected to conclude before Thursday afternoon at the earliest. The pound is down 0.2% against the dollar in early trade to 1.2408. Ocado marked by fires In Tuesday's company news, online grocery giant Ocado Group PLC (LON:OCDO) is due to post a third-quarter trading update with the focus on the impact of fires at two of its warehouses this year. At its interim results in July, the company lowered its full-year earnings guidance by £25mn after making a pre-tax loss of £43mln the first half following a fire at Ocado's Andover warehouse in February. In August, the group suffered its second fire for the year, this time at its warehouse in Erith, which could have dented sales in the third quarter. Ocado uses robots to move around groceries stored at its warehouses for its own online delivery service and other supermarkets it counts as clients including Morrison Supermarkets PLC (LON:MRW). The group has been increasingly shifting its attention away from its retail operations towards deals with other supermarkets through its solutions business amid tough competition in the grocery sector. While the solutions business will be the main area of focus in its upcoming trading update, the performance of the retail arm will also be assessed given that it makes up the bulk of revenues. Significant announcements expected for Tuesday September 17: Finals: K3 Capital Group PLC (LON:K3C), Springfield Properties PLC (LON:SPR) Trading updates: Ocado Group PLC (LON:OCDO) Interims: Aquis Exchange PLC (LON:AQX), Bango PLC (LON:BGO), Central Asia Metals Ltd (LON:CAML), JTC PLC (LON:JTC), Kape Technology PLC (LON:KAPE), KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM), Nahl Group PLC (LON:NAH), Personal Group PLC (LON:PGH), Smart Metering PLC (LON:SMS), Uniphar PLC (LON:UPR) Economic data: US industrial and manufacturing production, US NAHB Housing Market Index, Eurozone ZEW Survey of economic sentiment
The Supreme Court begins hearing whether the prorogation of Parliament is unlawful. It will take place over three days and it is unclear when a ruling will be made. 11 justices are sitting on a panel for the case, indicating the importance of this case.