Themes from January

US Federal Reserve signaled a “patient stance” in respect of further interest rate hikes in 2019, a clear shift in emphasis from December 2018.

PM Theresa May lost a key House of Commons vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill by a record 230 votes. The PM is now attempting to re-enter negotiations with the EU aimed at changes to the Irish backstop.

RPC the plastics manufacturer agreed to be acquired by Apollo Management for £3.32bn or 782p in cash plus 8.1p dividend. Post the announcement Berry Global said it was considering a cash offer for RPC.

Apple Inc reported revenues of $84.3bn with solid growth in wearables and services divisions. The board said it would consider reducing iPhone prices in key emerging markets to restore unit volume growth.

Royal Dutch Shell reported 2018 income of $23.35bn up 80% with record $53bn cash from operations. It has resumed its share buyback of $2.5bn.

Barclays is preparing to shift €190bn of assets to its Irish division as it “cannot wait any longer” amid continuing political uncertainty.

PZ Cussons reported revenues fell 10% due to weak Nigerian operations. It revised pre-tax profit guidance for 2019 to £70m around £10m below 2018 levels.

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