Three things you need to know in the financial markets this morning from investment writer, Tony Cross
The travel agency Thomas Cook has published a pre-close trading update this morning ahead of full year results at the end of November.
The numbers don’t make for great reading and the market is cautioned about the impact of the hot summer, depressing late bookings for the operator. However even as the weather cools off, bookings still remain sluggish. Winter sales are 2% behind where they were a year ago.
Full year expectations are being marked down and investors may well be less than impressed by the prognosis.
The bidding war for communications group Sky came to a head over the weekend with an auction being held between rivals Comcast and Fox.
Comcast came out as the victors, with an offer of £17.28 per share. Interestingly that’s not quite as high as the £21 the stock achieved at the height of the first tech boom back in 1999, but is still likely seen by shareholders as offering a tidy return. The Shares were trading at under £10 a year ago.
In other merger news, directors of Barrick Gold and Randgold Resources have both agreed to a merger. This will create an entity that is expected to have the industry’s largest concentration of tier one gold assets, diversified across many of the world’s major producing areas.
Randgold shares will be delisted from London, with the joint entity being traded on both NYSE and the Toronto Stock Exchange. A business like this will give unrivalled exposure to gold as an asset class – expect the share price to closely follow that of the underlying asset.