Themes from May

PM Theresa May declared she will step aside on the 7th June making way for new leadership for the Conservative party.

EU elections resulted in a win for the Brexit party and substantial gains for the Liberal Democrats. Both the ruling Conservative and opposition Labour party saw heavy MEP losses.

US President Donald Trump said he would impose tariffs on Mexican imports at a cumulative rate of 5% a month up to a maximum of 25% on the grounds that Mexico was not doing enough to stem the flow of immigrants across the US / Mexico border.

Vodafone cut its annual dividend by 40% to 9 cents citing the need to address its balance sheet and invest in the 5G roll-out. It announced it lost €7.64bn in 2019.

Royal Mail said it would cut its annual dividend by 40% to 15p in 2020 citing the need to invest in its parcels business. It posted an adjusted profit before tax of £398m down from £565m in 2018.

MSCI All-World Index dropped 6% during May 2019 with investors switching to bond safe havens, the 10 year Bund and 10 year Treasury and safe currencies, including the Yen and Swiss Franc.

Imperial Brands reported interim EPS of 115.6p up 1.1% on net revenues of £3.65bn up 3.8%. However the tobacco sector fell sharply after a Neilsen report claiming US cigarette demand fell 11.2% over the month.

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