Themes from March

UK/ EU27 agreed a 21 month transition period that will run to 31 December 2020, during which period the UK will remain in the EU single market and customs union. The EU Commission has published guidelines on the next stage of the negotiations.

Q1 2018 was tough for UK blue chips which lost 8.3% in a broad based sell off encompassing all sectors.

Micro Focus Intl reported it expected H1 2018 revenues to drop between 9% to 12%, the CEO Chris Hsu has departed.

Takeda Pharmaceuticals reported that it is considering an acquisition of Shire Pharmaceuticals. Shire has confirmed a formal offer has not yet been made.

US tariffs introduced on steel and aluminium products will be applied to Chinese imports but not those from the EU, Canada, Mexico or Australia. Cheap steel imports from China were harming the viability of the US steel industry, according to Donald Trump.

Maple-Brown Abbott disclosed it had acquired a 3% stake in UK water giant Severn Trent.

DFS Furniture reported revenues up 4.3% to £396.1m with underlying operating profit of £18m. The shares jumped on relief the Sofology acquisition is working in compliment to the DFS business.

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