FTSE nudges higher despite Asian stock slump

European shares started the week mostly flat but there is a glint of optimism in the FTSE 100 as it slowly works its way higher.

Stock markets in Asia fared worse after US President Trump made a comment to Apple over the weekend urging the tech giant to make all of its production US based. 

The Shanghai Composite index reacted with a 1.21% fall as some of Apple’s key suppliers are based in China and Taiwan. 

BoE likely to keep rates unchanged

The week ahead sees the next rate setting meeting of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee. Although inflation is bubbling and has gone above the government’s 2% target the BoE is unlikely to raise rates while the Brexit uncertainty is becoming worse by the day. 

Comments from the BoE’s Governor Mark Carney in August did address both issues indicating that a rate hike was unlikely until later in the year. 

The pound still remains fragile to what is developing on the UK’s political scene and seems to be trading within narrow ranges. It is up 0.19% against the dollar this morning and just about holding up against the euro – up 0.06%.

RPC shares jump 23% as talks are confirmed

Shares in RPC Group, one of Europe’s largest suppliers of plastic packaging spiked 23% after the company confirmed it was in preliminary talks with US investors Apollo Global Management and Bain Capital about a potential offer for the company. 

The share price consequently came down a little as RPC explained that the two companies have until October 8 to either express a firm intention to buy or to withdraw from the deal. 

RPC has been under pressure from investors to either cut capital spending or raise additional cash as its shares lost nearly 22% since the beginning of this year. RPC’s response was that it would prioritise the proposed disposal of some assets while it looked for ways to generate capital for expansion or to return money to shareholders. 

In the first step yielding to those pressures RPC decided to sell its Letica food packaging operations last month raising $95 million.

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