Oil majors will be in focus as covid cases surge in Europe and US the price of oil is tumbling lower. Oil has skidded over 3% lower in early trade, paring gains from the previous session. Elevated US crude inventories coupled with soaring coronavirus infections in the US and Europe hitting the demand outlook have prompted fresh selling in oil and the bears to take back control. With covid on the rise movement in Europe and North America will be greatly reduced over Autumn and the winter months bringing oil demand right back down again. The lack of US fiscal stimulus is adding to the gloomy outlook for demand. At the same time output is once again ramping up in Libya, at a time that is least needed.
Next upgrades FY profits (again)
British clothes retailer Next has impressed by upgrading its annual profit guidance after sales grew by more than expected in the third quarter. Full price sales jumped +2.8% in Q3 an Next now expects full year pre-tax profits to be £365 million, up £65 million from guidance in September.
Next’s sophisticated online offering has helped the online retailer to weather one of the most challenging storms seen by the retail sector in recent times. Next now does more than half of its sales online making it one of the few bricks and mortar retailers to successfully transition into e-commerce in a significant way.
The outlook for Next is still extremely challenging, particularly with tighter lockdown restriction being brought in and the prospect of Christmas being cancelled. The risk that an extending economic slowdown could see customers move away from the mid-market price point towards cheaper alternatives could also grow.