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BP Investors Riding High On Elevated Oil Prices


Investors in BP have banked some strong gains on the back of the company’s strong Q3 earnings report, which saw share price soar 3.5% in morning trading. While those gains have softened as the day goes on, reported profits that are more than double those recorded over the same three months last year bode well for BP share price’s short to medium term outlook at least.

The soaring oil prices over the past year may not generally be good for our pockets with the price of petrol, plane tickets and manufactured goods all also rising as a result. However, for anyone investing online in the shares of oil companies such as BP and Shell, there is certainly a burnished silver lining. Profits are surging on oil prices up around the $80 level and share prices along with them.

Last year BP reported Q3 profits of $1.4 billion. This year they were $3.1 billion, notably ahead of analysts’ forecasts, despite the higher oil price over the period that saw average trade prices of $75 compared to $52 in 2017. Underlying profits, which exclude one-off costs, currency fluctuations and accountancy effects were $3.8 billion against predictions for $2.9 billion.

With the US-China trade war putting buyers of US-produced WTI, wary of China slapping levies on it, Brent crude and oil from other parts of the world, which makes up most of BP’s trading inventory have benefitted. OPEC production cuts, new U.S sanctions on Iran, the world’s fourth largest oil producer, and ongoing mismanagement of PDVSA, the state-controlled Venezuelan oil company (the country has the world’s largest proven oil reserves) are all currently combining to put upwards pressure on oil prices.

With OPEC and Russia quietly resisting U.S. pressure to ramp up production to compensate for its sanctions on Iran, there is also little prospect that prices will drop significantly any time soon. If anything, they are expected to rise again before the end of the year.

The resulting cash flowing into BP’s coffers is not only boosting its balance sheet in the short term but is helping the company build for the future. The company recently announced its biggest acquisition in more than 20 years – a $10.5 billion deal to buy U.S. shale oil operator BHP Shale. Asset sales planned to raise between $5 billion and $6 billion, and a potential new share offering, were to fund the acquisition. However, the recent boost to BP’s profits means that will now be unnecessary with the assets sale cash instead being diverted towards paying down the company’s debt.

As well as capital gains on BP’s rising share price, investors are also profiting from rising dividends. The company increased dividends to 10.25 cents a share, from 10, in the second quarter. It was the first increase in 4 years and while it has been held steady this time, investors might expect further rewards if Q4 results maintain the current trajectory of BP’s finances.

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Budget 2018: How Will It Impact Your Investments & Personal Finances?


Yesterday’s Autumn Budget for 2018 was billed as ‘an end to austerity’ and designed to inject confidence into a pre and post-Brexit UK economy that Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond was bullish on. A loosening of the purse strings and spending was announced with the NHS and defence the main beneficiaries. From the point of view of personal finances, the biggest changes announced were those around personal tax rates.

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Is It Really Time to Get Out of the London Property Market?


London has built up a reputation as a bullet-proof property investment market. True, rental returns may not have been the highest achievable across the UK, especially for those who have come into the market at the heights of recent years. But, in the minds of more than enough buyers to keep the market not only buoyant but showing strong growth, that is more than compensated by strong capital appreciation and an insurance-like premium against market downturns.

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Is North Korea Still Roiling the Markets? Recent Trends Suggest Otherwise

North Korea

By James Trescothick, Senior Global Strategist, easyMarkets

The war of words between North Korea and the United States has gripped the markets as of late, with investors increasingly jittery about the prospect of confrontation on the Korean peninsula. However, recent developments seem to suggest that investors have already “priced in” North Korean chaos into their portfolios.

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Uber London loses licence to operate

Uber London

Uber not to be issued private hire license

Uber will lose its license to operate in London due to security and safety concerns. There have been instances involving the ride-hailing app firm that have raised public safety concerns. The ride-hailing firm will not be issued a new private hire licence, Transport for London (TfL) has said. TfL said that Uber is not fit to hold a private hire operator license. It further said that it took the decision on “public safety and security implications”. The authority is concerned regarding Uber’s approach to carrying out background checks on drivers and reporting serious criminal offences.

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Facebook not to reclassify stocks


Mark Zuckerberg has dropped plans to reclassify stocks

Mark Zuckerberg has dropped plans to reclassify stocks in order to stay in control of his social networking site. In a post on Facebook, he categorically stated that he was abandoning plans to create a class of stockholders without voting rights. Zuckerberg said that he and wife Priscilla will sell off all their shares of the company and purse philanthropy. He said that the value of his stocks has reached a level that can fund the philanthropy work pursued by him and his family. He had asked the board to stop considering the reclassification of stocks that was accepted by the board.

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Downing secures £439m investment in UK-wide student housing

UK-wide student housing

Liverpool based developer Downing secures £439m investment in UK-wide student housing joint venture

Downing will develop massive student housing across the UK. This will further establish Downing as a major player in the student accommodation sector. It has a strong presence in leading university cities and has a reputation in student accommodation across the UK. Downing is known for high quality and well-managed housing facilities.

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Start-up’s socially intelligent robot tech raises $2.5m

socially intelligent robot

Swedish startup raises $2.5 million for its socially intelligent robot

Furhat Robotics has raised $2.5 million for its socially intelligent robots which mimic human behaviour and display human-like social behaviour. The robotic system mimics human gesture and intonation and creates expressions using computer animation and projection. The technology can be potentially used for a number of ways and will have smartphone interaction and medical implications for the elderly and those with certain medical conditions. The star up has raised the sum in seed funding from Balderton Capital and LocalGlobe.

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Business struggle with jargon, reveals research

Epicor Software

Businesses professionals not familiar with technological terms, a research has revealed

Industry seems to be lacking an understanding of business related technical language, a research has found. This is despite the fact that these technologies have evolved years ago and are at advanced stages at present. Due to the fast changing technology, business professionals are unable to keep pace with key technologies and innovations affecting their sector and business. But business professionals are aware of the role of technology in driving business growth in their sector.

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Bank of EnglandHighlight

Bank of England

Bank of England

Bank of England is the regulator and central bank of the UK that is dedicated to public service

Bank of England is the regulator and central bank of the United Kingdom. The bank’s headquarter is on Threadneedle Street in London’s main financial district of the City of London. It is a government-owned organisation that is dedicated to public service. The bank is committed to promote good of the people of UK. Bank of England is a diverse organisation and consists of 3600 people.

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