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What to Watch: Burberry, vote on EU top job, Ryanair reschedule

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
A Burberry store on London's New Bond Street. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images

Weak pound lifts Burberry

Luxury fashion label Burberry (BRBY.L) said on Tuesday that sales in the its most recent quarter, which rose to £498m from £479m in the same period a year ago, were buoyed by the weak pound — something that encouraged tourists to purchase designs by its new creative director, Riccardo Tisci.

Sales in the Asia Pacific market were up by “high single-digits”, primarily due to growth in China, the company said. Sales in the US were also up, but fell in Canada.

“We made excellent progress in the first year of our plan to transform Burberry, while at the same time delivering financial performance in line with expectations,” said Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti.

“Riccardo Tisci’s first collections arrived in stores at the end of February and the initial reaction from customers is very encouraging.”

Shares in the fashion label jumped 6% on Tuesday following the results.

Ursula von der Leyen faces a vote

German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen faces members of the European Parliament on Tuesday, with a vote scheduled on her nomination for the European Commission presidency.

While the Merkel ally was chosen by EU leaders last month, she requires an absolute majority of MEPs to take up the job in November, when Jean-Claude Juncker’s term ends.

After making a series of promises to several European political groupings, von der Leyen on Monday announced that she would resign as German defence minister regardless of whether she succeeded in the vote.

In a letter to Renew Europe, she noted that she would support a further Brexit extension “if good reasons are provided.”

But she reiterated that the withdrawal agreement negotiated with the EU was “the best and only deal possible for an orderly withdrawal.”

In the letter, von der Leyen also made pledges about climate change, a pan-European minimum wage, and gender quotas for corporate boards, among other things.

Ryanair was forced to revise its summer 2020 schedule

Passengers face a cut in cheap flights available to them after Ryanair (RYA.L) announced that it has been forced to revise its summer 2020 schedule due to the expectation of a delay to the delivery of new Boeing 737 MAX jets.

The major European budget airline said in a statement that it now expects to cut the number of aircraft from 58 to 30 next summer and that there are likely to be cuts and closures at its bases starting as soon as this winter.

“Ryanair remains committed to the B737 Max aircraft, and now expects that it will return to flying service before the end of 2019, however the exact date of this return remains uncertain,” said Michael O'Leary, CEO of Ryanair in a statement.

“Ryanair now hopes to receive its first MAX200 aircraft sometime between January and February 2020. Since Ryanair can only take delivery of between 6 to 8 new aircraft each month, we are now planning our summer 2020 schedules based on taking up to 30 B737 MAX aircraft deliveries up to end of May 2020.”

Shares in Ryanair were up by 0.89% on Tuesday.

European stocks are mixed

European stocks were mixed on Tuesday. The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) climbed by 0.19%, while Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) was up marginally by 0.04%. France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI), meanwhile, declined by 0.03%.

This followed a similarly mixed trading session in Asia. The Nikkei 225 (^N225) was down by 0.69%, and the SSE Composite (000001.SS) was down by 0.16%. The Hang Seng (^HSI), however, is up slightly, by 0.06%.

Sterling was down 0.37% against the dollar (GBPUSD=X) on Tuesday, to around $1.247, and down 0.23% against the euro (GBPEUR=X), to around €1.109.

What to expect in the US

Futures are pointing to small gains for US stocks.

S&P 500 futures (ES=F) are up by 0.02%, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures (YM=F) are even. Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) are up by 0.06%.

Companies reporting later on Tuesday in the US include:

  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM)

  • Goldman Sachs (GS)

  • Wells Fargo (WFC)

  • United Airlines (UA)

  • Johnson and Johnson (JNJ)