Corporate releases suggest it’s not all doom and gloom for the FTSE

Encouraging figures and an optimistic outlook sees Unilever lead the FTSE 100 higher.

Source: Bloomberg
  • Burberry Group shares collapse as Asian sales tumble
  • US inflation remains weak as subdued oil prices keep the pressure on

Those investors desperate to envisage their pint glasses being half full have been given reason to cheer, with Unilever not only beating third-quarter expectations but also talking up the outlook for the rest of the year.

Asia, however, remains an issue and it just appears that a more trusted hand at the tiller has helped guide Unilever through these choppy waters.

ARM Holdings, the chip maker of choice for smartphone and Android manufacturers, has felt the full benefits of an upturn in optimism for the sector as it headed into the close still up by over 5% on the day.

Burberry on the other hand, has felt the full effect of cooling demand in Asia as the luxury brand has seen sales figures tumble having seen its shares down by over 13% at one point in time.

In Europe, German automotive regulators have fired the first shots at Volkswagen. They have ordered the company to recall 2.4 million vehicles in the country, leaving analysts even more convinced that the €6.5 billion set aside to cover these issues will be woefully short of what will ultimately be required.

There was little chance the markets were going to be surprised by today’s US inflation figures, with central banks from around the globe having posted weakening figures throughout the week.

The US reporting season continues to underwhelm as last night’s after-hours announcement from Netflix had the bears licking their lips in anticipation of today’s open, duly thumping the online content provider by 10% in the early session.

It is still a little early to judge, but currently this third-quarter looks set to be the worst reporting season for US equities in several years as few companies look to be punching above their weight. 

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