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Most-bought FTSE 100 shares in August 2018

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Most-bought FTSE 100 shares in August 2018

The top four most bought FTSE 100 stocks on interactive investor in August remained the same as July. However, the top three traded places to finish in the amended order of Lloyds Banking, Glencore and Vodafone.

The pressure on mining stocks during August may have explained why Rio Tinto was propelled back into the top ten for the first time in many months, with investors perhaps seeing recovery potential in a very well-diversified miner whose share price has lost 20% over the last three months alone.

Elsewhere, Legal & General regained its place following interim numbers in early August, where pre-tax profits dipped 19% due in part to market volatility, but where the interim dividend was increased by 7%.

 Richard Hunter, Head of Markets at interactive investor, the UK’s leading flat fee investment platform, says: 

“The FTSE 100 index had a torrid month in August, losing 4.1% and largely contributing to a year-to-date fall which, at the time of writing, stands down 4.8%. Whilst the expected lower summer trading volumes may have exacerbated the drop, there were nonetheless a confluence of factors keeping investors on edge. 

Growing concerns that the escalating trade tensions between the US and China could threaten to derail a reasonably synchronised global economic recover were possibly underlined by some weaker than expected Chinese data. Plus, the fallout in the economies of Turkey and Argentina did little to soothe sentiment. 

Except for Barclays, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that there is a strategy amongst ii customers which is becoming more entrenched, namely to be buying blue chip companies on the dips in the hope of future capital growth, while being paid to wait in the form of heightened dividend income. Apart from Barclays, the average yield of the other nine most bought stocks is 6.1%, while the average of the FTSE100 currently stands a touch over 4%. 

This would appear to be a sage strategy given the current uncertainties of the investment backdrop.” 

Most bought FTSE 100 stocks by interactive investor’s customers in August 2018 

 Rank Company  Previous rank* Dividend yield (%)
1 Lloyds Banking 3 5.2
2 Glencore 1 5
3 Vodafone 2 8.1
4 BP 4 5.4
5 Barclays 6 2.5
6 Aviva 7 5.8
7 Rio Tinto new entry 6.3
8 BT Group 5 7
9 Royal Dutch Shell 8 5.6
10 Legal & General New entry 6.1

 *July 2018

Source: interactive investor, 7 September.

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Sterling holds above $1.39, rises vs euro after Sunak’s generous budget

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Sterling holds above $1.39, rises vs euro after Sunak's generous budget 1

By Joice Alves

LONDON (Reuters) – Sterling held above $1.39 against the dollar on Thursday and gained versus the euro after British finance minister Rishi Sunak unveiled an expansive annual budget designed to prop up the economy.

Sterling is the best-performing G10 currency this year, with investors expecting Britain’s speedy vaccination programme will help the economy to recover from its worst annual contraction in 300 years.

As the locked-down country prepares to re-open, Sunak delivered what he hopes will be a last big spending splurge to get the economy through the COVID-19 crisis.

The UK economy will return to its pre-pandemic size in mid-2022, six months earlier than previously forecast, Sunak said.

ING analysts said in a note to clients that the “generous budget” was well received and it was seen “to strike the right balance and support the spring recovery.”

Sterling edged 0.2% lower against the dollar to $1.3921 in early London trading,. Versus the euro, it gained 0.1% to 86.41 pence.

“Sterling is performing well …My sense is the budget measures bode well in the eyes of overseas investors,” said Neil Jones, Head of FX Sales at Mizuho Bank.

He said the measures and progress on vaccinations “add weight to the view the UK will stand at the forefront of the global COVID recovery”.

(Reporting by Joice Alves; editing by John Stonestreet)

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FTSE 100 falls as high yields, inflation worries return to fore

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FTSE 100 falls as high yields, inflation worries return to fore 2

(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 fell on Thursday, dragged by miners and bank stocks on concerns about rising bond yields and volatility in U.S. markets, while engineering company Meggitt fell after its annual profit halved due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index slid 0.5%, with mining stocks, including Rio Tinto, Anglo American, and BHP, leading the declines.

Resurgent worries about rising U.S. bond yields hit global shares as investors waited to see if Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will address concerns about the risk of a rapid rise in long-term borrowing costs. [MKTS/GLOB]

Meanwhile, Bank of England policymaker Silvana Tenreyro said there was no good evidence that cutting interest rates below zero would, past a certain point, weaken Britain’s economy rather than boost it.

The domestically focused mid-cap FTSE 250 index fell 0.5%.

Ladbrokes owner Entain fell 2.0% after it held back declaring a dividend despite reporting a jump in 2020 earnings. It also said it was expecting online volumes to ease when shops re-open after surging during lockdowns.

(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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World’s biggest wealth fund puts Japan’s Kirin on watch list over Myanmar link

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World's biggest wealth fund puts Japan's Kirin on watch list over Myanmar link 3

By Terje Solsvik

OSLO (Reuters) – The Norwegian central bank said on Wednesday it had put Japan’s Kirin Holdings Ltd Co on a watch list for possible exclusion from its $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund over the beverage giant’s business ties to Myanmar’s military.

Kirin on Feb. 5 said it would end its partnership with Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHPCL), a company run by Myanmar’s army, after a military coup deposed the democratically elected government.

As part of its decision on whether to maintain its ownership in Kirin, the Norwegian fund will monitor the implementation of the company’s plan to end the ties, Norway’s central bank said in a statement.

Kirin’s decision effectively scraps the Myanmar Brewery joint venture, in which the Japanese firm’s controlling stake was valued at up to $1.7 billion, although Kirin also said it still wanted to keep selling beer in Myanmar.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which manages the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, held a 1.29% stake in Kirin Holdings at the end of 2020 with a value of $277.1 million.

“We remain focused on urgently implementing the termination of our joint-venture partnership with MEHPCL,” Kirin said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

“As part of this, we hope to find a way forward that will allow Kirin to continue to contribute positively to Myanmar. We value opinions and feedback from all of our stakeholders and are open to constructive engagement on this matter,” it added.

The Norwegian sovereign fund, formally called the Government Pension Fund Global and set up in 1996 to save petroleum revenues for future generations, owns about 1.5% of all globally listed shares.

Holding stakes in around 9,100 companies worldwide, it has set the pace on a host of issues in the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) field, and its decisions are often followed by other investors.

The bank separately said it would allow the wealth fund to invest again in Poland’s Atal SA, which had been excluded since 2017 for risk of human rights violations through its use of North Korean workers at Polish construction sites.

“As a result of a resolution in the United Nations Security Council, all North Korean workers have now been sent out of Poland. Therefore, there are no longer grounds for excluding the company,” Norges Bank said.

Atal did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

A third firm, Germany’s Thyssenkrupp AG, will be the subject of an “active ownership” process as the fund’s management seeks to probe the company’s anti-corruption work, Norges bank said.

“Norges Bank has been in dialogue with the company over a long period of time. We therefore have a good foundation for active ownership on the issues to which this matter relates,” the central bank said.

The fund held a 1.3% stake in the German firm at the end of 2020 valued at $147.1 million.

Thyssenkrupp did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

(Editing by Gwladys Fouche, Richard Pullin and Gerry Doyle)

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