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Oil giants release third quarter results

George Salmon, Equity Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:

"There were contrasting fortunes for the UK’s two biggest oil companies this morning, after both BP and Shell released third quarter results.

Shell has come off best, with the shares moving up 3.5%. The group passed a symbolic milestone in returning to profit in its upstream business. A profit of $4m for the quarter may not be too impressive, but getting back into the black from a $1.3bn loss in the previous quarter is no mean feat.

BP on the other hand, is down 2% as a one-off favourable tax result was behind an increase in profits. Each of the group’s three main divisions saw profits fall, with exploration write-downs and lower gas realisations dragging the upstream division into a loss.

As the busy autumn reporting season gets into full swing, Standard Chartered also had numbers out this morning. Conditions continue to look challenging for the group and Q3 results sent the shares down 5%. Substantial restructuring charges limited reported operating profits to $153m and the bank had its CET1 requirements raised from 9.2% to 9.8%."

Currency Markets

Current market levels
GBP/USD 1.2229 (-0.08%)
GBP/EUR 1.1089 (-0.51%)
GBP/JPY 128.21 (-0.01%)
GBP/AUD 1.5927 (-0.99%)

Chris Saint, Senior Analyst, HL Currency Service:

"The pound gave little reaction to today’s UK manufacturing PMI data showing activity growth in the sector slowed in October, albeit slightly more modestly than expected. The headline reading of 54.3 remains above both the 12-month average and June’s pre-referendum level. Sterling had received a boost late yesterday as Mark Carney confirmed he will remain at the helm of the Bank of England for an extra year until June 2019. Uncertain times lie ahead and news that Mr Carney should be around to see out the full two-year period of Brexit negotiations removes one strand of uncertainty. Elsewhere, both the Bank of Japan and Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) kept monetary policy unchanged overnight. The Australian dollar is among the day’s biggest risers though after the RBA’s upbeat accompanying statement prompted speculation that the current interest rate level of 1.5% might be the floor after two cuts earlier in the year."


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