Business confidence bounces back but interest rates will rise

British businesses have started the year with far more optimism, according to a new survey showing that confidence hit its highest level in six months in January.

The latest Lloyds Bank Business Barometer suggests that overall confidence among UK companies increased by five points to 22 per cent this month, moving closer to the long-term average of 28 per cent.

Confidence is an important economic indicator and driver of growth, because the more optimistic companies feel, the more likely they are to invest. The Bank of England follows confidence measures closely to gauge when to raise interest rates. The Bank is expected to raise the base costs by half a percentage point on Thursday, which will push the rate to 4 per cent.

The increase in business confidence was driven by a more optimistic assessment of the wider economy, with almost half of the businesses surveyed expressing greater optimism.

Hann-Ju … Read more

TSX Finishes with Gains on Day, Week

(CORRECTS TSX GAIN ON DAY OF 13.98 POINTS)

Stocks in Canada’s largest centre eked out gains to close a successful week, powered by momentum in health-care and tech stocks.

The TSX gained 13.98 points to conclude Friday at 20,714.48. The index registered in the plus column 211.78 points, or 1%.

The Canadian dollar improved 0.29 cents at 75.11 cents U.S.

Cannabis plays made their way up, with Canopy Growth, well, growing 24 cents, or 6.5%, to $3.92, while Tilray moved up 21 cents, or 5.1%, to $4.30.

Among tech stocks, Lightspeed Commerce jumped $1.56, or 6.8%, to $24.43, while HUT 8 Mining gathered 13 cents, or 5.2%, to $2.63.

In energy, Athabasca Oil picked up 15 cents, or 6%, to $2.67, while MEG Energy added 96 cents, or 4.6%, to $21.65.

Gold weighed most heavily on the market, as Equinox Gold ditched 27 cents, or 4.3%, to $6.07, while Sandstorm … Read more

Will force majeure clauses strike the right chord during industrial action?

With the increased threat of industrial strike action looming across the UK, we consider whether a force majeure clause can strike the right chord during such action.

As we emerged from the pandemic, many businesses had hoped to move forward and leave the struggles and difficulties of the pandemic behind.

However, industrial strike action has exacerbated staff shortages and has the potential to cause major disruption to supply chains in sectors such as health, logistics, manufacturing, and transport. Therefore, as we approach what looks set to be a winter of strike action, many businesses may be wondering how they will get through the next few months with concerns over whether:

  • They will have the staff to operate their business.
  • They will suffer operational delays and supply chain delays or unavailability of materials, and
  • They can comply with all their contractual obligations; and
  • Their business-critical trading partners can continue to do
Read more

January Jobs Numbers Due Next Week

Monday

U.S.

Featured Earnings

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) (Q4) Reported EPS of $3.28, compared to $2.79 in the prior-year quarter.

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE: BEN) (Q1) Reported EPS of 54 cents, compared to $1.08 in the prior-year quarter.

Ryanair Holdings plc (NASDAQ: RYAAY) (Q3) Reported EPS for gain of 77 cents, compared to a loss of 48 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Canada

Featured Earnings

Chakana Copper Corp. (T.PERU) (Q2) Reported EPS of loss of one cent, identical to the prior-year quarter.

Flow Beverage Corp. (T:FLOW) (Q4) Reported EPS for loss of 14 cents, compared to loss of 16 cents in the prior-year quarter.

High Tide Inc. (T.HITI) (Q4) Reported EPS for loss of five cents, compared to loss of seven cents in the prior-year quarter.

Tuesday

U.S.

Economic Lookahead

Employment cost index (Q4)

S&P Case-Shiller home price index (Nov.)

FHFA home price index (Nov.)

Consumer confidence index (Jan.)… Read more