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Interest rates; US-China deal; IndigoVision; William Hill

City of London

Another Bank of England policymaker has floated the idea of cutting the central bank’s main interest rate.

Gertjan Vlieghe told the Financial Times he would consider voting for a rate cut.

The UK economy grew at its slowest rate since 2012 in November, meaning an interest rate cut could be on the cards at the next meeting of the Bank’s monetary policy committee.

UK GDP grew at 0.6% in the 12 months to November, the Office for National Statistics said, down from 1% in October, representing the slowest annual growth rate for more than seven years.

Mr Vlieghe is the third policy-setter to suggest they may be willing to cut rates. Last week, both BoE Governor Mark Carney and fellow MPC member Silvana Tenreyro spoke positively about the possibility of a rate cut sooner rather than later.

Michael Saunders, one of two who voted for a cut at the last meeting, is set to speak on Wednesday.

The latest comments helped the pound drop below $1.30 and lifted the stock market .

US-China deal

China and the US will finally put pen to paper on their highly anticipated “phase one” trade deal on Wednesday.

The preliminary trade deal agreement has eased tensions between the economic superpowers and boosted prospects for the global economy.

The imminent signing has helped lift global stock markets to new highs.

The FTSE 100 was expected to open higher.

Asian stocks markets rose overnight. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.47% higher, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up by 1%, and China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.75%.

IndigoVision

Video security firm IndigoVision said sales for the financial year ended 31 December 2019 were $50.1m, representing a 9% increase over 2018. 

Gross margins were maintained in line with prior year and with strong cost control, the Edinburgh-based company expects to report operating profit and EBITDA in line with market expectations.

Net cash in hand was $2m following the drawdown of $2.7m of the new bank facility to fund the cash consideration for the acquisition of AgoraSys, completed in November.

The company will announce full-year results on 5 March.

William Hill

The betting group’s full-year adjusted operating profit for 2019 from continuing operations is expected to be in the range of £143m to £148m, ahead of market and management expectations, driven by favourable sporting results through the year end.

Ruth Prior, chief financial officer, intends to step down from her post and as a Director of the company to return to the private equity sector, joining Element Materials Technology, as CFO.

Pubs see spending uplift

Spending in pubs was up 12% over Christmas according to Barclaycard, which processes almost half of all card transactions in the UK.



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