U.K. Retail Sales Rise, Giving Some Good News to Bruised Sector

Philly Fed Index Indicates Slower Growth In August

A report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday showed regional manufacturing activity continued to expand in the month of August, although the pace of growth slowed by more than anticipated.

The Philly Fed said its diffusion index for current activity dropped to 17.2 in August from 24.1 in July, but a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to dip to 21.0.

The bigger than expected decrease by the headline index came as the new orders index dropped to 19.0 in August from 23.0 in July and the shipments index slid to 9.4 from 15.3.

The number of employees index also tumbled to 9.0 in August from 20.1 in July, indicating a slowdown in the pace of job growth.

On the inflation front, the prices paid index edged down to 15.3 in August from 15.7 in July, while the prices received index inched up to 12.4 from 11.5.

The Philly Fed noted respondents remained optimistic about growth over the next six months, with the diffusion index for future general activity rising to 38.8 in August from 36.0 in July.

“Manufacturing activity is set to advance at a lackluster and uneven pace in the coming months amid a grim backdrop of weak demand, supply chain disruptions and elevated uncertainty,” said Oren Klachkin, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

He added, “The virus is in the driver’s seat of the recovery, and manufacturing will not gain stronger momentum on a sustained basis until a health solution is found.”

FTSE 100 LIVE: China stocks rise as consumer, healthcare firms lend support

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Chinese gains were boosted by consumer and healthcare firms today. The CSI300 index rose 1.2% to 4,734.11 points by the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8% to 3,390.09 points.

Risk sentiment was supported by a series of strong first-half earnings from Chinese companies as Beijing ramped up plans to revive the economy savaged by the COVID-19 crisis. Electronic components maker Goertek Inc neared a record high while Focus Media Information surged by the 10% daily trading limit after both companies posted strong earnings for the first half. Market participants were also watching out for developments on trade talks between Washington and Beijing. The Trump administration on Thursday declined to acknowledge any plans to meet with China over the Phase 1 trade deal after the commerce ministry in Beijing said bilateral talks would be held “in the coming days” to evaluate the agreement’s progress.

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Kymera Therapeutics Prices Upsized IPO At $20/Shr, Above Expected Range

Kymera Therapeutics, Inc. (KYMR)announced the pricing of its upsized initial public offering of 8.68 million common shares at $20.00 per share. The offering is expected to close on August 25, 2020.

Kymera has originally filed to sell 7.36 million common shares with an expected price of between $16 and $18.00 per share.

Kymera Therapeutics shares are expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on August 21, 2020 under the ticker symbol “KYMR”. The company expects offering gross proceeds, before expenses, to be about $173.7 million.

Kymera has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1.3 million common shares.

British public debt tops £2 trillion for first time

Britain's public debt went above £2 trillion ($2.7 trillion) for the first time in July as the government ramped up public spending to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, official data showed on Friday.

Kingspan HY Profit Down

Kingspan Group Plc. (KGP.L), a provider of high performance insulation and building envelope solutions, reported that its profit attributable to owners of the company for the six month period ended 30 June 2020 declined to 144.5 million euros or 79.2 euros cents from 169.3 million euros or 93.3 euros cents in the prior year.

Group revenue for the period decreased by 8% to 2.07 billion euros from last year. Trading profit decreased by 13% to 200.1 million euros from the prior year.

This represents a 7% decrease in sales and a 12% decrease in trading profit on a constant currency basis.

U.K. Retail Sales Rise, Giving Some Good News to Bruised Sector

U.K. retail sales rose more than economists forecast, giving a battered sector a brief respite from a litany of bad news.

Sales increased 2% in July from June, the Office for National Statistics said Friday. Non-food sales jumped 10%, though they remain below their pre-virus level. Total volumes, including fuel, climbed above their pre-pandemic levels.

The increase follows a string of bad news in the sector, including store closures and job losses. Lockdowns, restrictions on travel and consumer worries about the economy and their job security are taking a huge toll on spending. Marks & Spencer Group Plc this week announced 7,000 job cuts.

The retail figures follow a GfK survey showing household confidence stuck in the doldrums, partly on job worries.

The government began winding down its wage subsidy-program for furloughed workers this month, leading to warnings that millions of Britons risk losing their jobs unless Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak extends support beyond October — a demand he has so far resisted.

“Employment is now the big issue because the pandemic has ended years of job security,” said GfK’s client strategy director, Joe Staton. Although consumers were slightly more confident about their personal finances, “this could change quickly when furlough ends and the inevitable redundancies start,” he warned.