President Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that he would hike tariffs on all Chinese imports to 25 per cent, as he believed progress was being made too slowly, shocked global markets this week. The announcement took investors by surprise, creating and enhancing uncertainty in global markets. ~ Some companies experienced noticable falls in their share price, particularly Asia-focused firms such as Standard Chartered, HSBC and Prudential which closed 2.5 per cent, 2.7 per cent and 3.7 per cent lower on Tuesday respectively.
Smith & Nephew, a medical technology company engaged in developing, manufacturing, marketing and selling medical devices and services, moved ahead as the board updated its revenue guidance. The announcement of the company’s first-quarter results saw revenue rise 4.4 per cent to the total of USD $1.2bn. The group had seen an upbeat performance from growth in emerging markets, led by China where it experienced a strong quarter. The board said it was “increasingly confident” that underlying revenue growth would be in the upper half of the guidance range of 2.5 - 3.5 per cent, however, profit targets remained the same. Chief executive Namal Nawana said: “It’s been a good start to 2019 across the whole of Smith & Nephew. All three global franchises delivered improved growth” adding that “each has the potential to perform sustainably at or above their markets.”
Under pressure was UK-based gambling group Paddy Power Betfair, which saw a sharp decline in share price.
The company’s first-quarter results were positive, with revenue up 17 per cent to £478m in comparison to the previous year. After a federal ban on sports betting was lifted last year, Paddy Power was an early entrant into the US market.
Its merger with FanDuel, which has a presence in 41 US states, helped to provide Paddy Power with revenue of £78m from the US business, an increase of 47 per cent. Headwinds facing the company in the UK included adverse sports results in the UK, which favoured customers who bet on games including Manchester United’s Champions League victory at Paris Saint-Germain. As it looked to diversify into the US, there was also competition from other UK gambling companies including Bet365, which signed a 20-year partnership with Empire Resorts, and GVC, which signed a USD$200m joint venture with MGM casinos. However, analysts pared back their expectations for the sector in anticipation of increased regulation across the sector.
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