What to Watch: Earnings from Volkswagen, Lufthansa and BP, plus buyout of Wagamama

Senior Economics Correspondent at Yahoo Finance UK
Yahoo Finance UK

Here’s a daily overview of the top business and economic developments the Yahoo Finance UK team is monitoring in the UK, Europe and abroad:

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Volkswagen stock defies gravity

Shares in Volkswagen (VOW3.DE) surged as much as 5% in early morning trading after the German auto giant reported better-than-expected earnings and reaffirmed that it would hit its annual financial targets. Volkswagen’s stock was the biggest gainer on Germany’s blue-chip DAX index (^GDAXI) on Tuesday morning.

The auto manufacturer reported it experienced a nearly 19% drop in adjusted operating profit in the third-quarter as the entire industry struggled with new strict car testing procedures in the European Union. It also warned that the Chinese market was suffering in the midst of the US-China trade war. But that failed to dampen investor enthusiasm. 

“The fact that VW does not have to change its forecast makes it look more robust than most of its competitors, namely Daimler and BMW, it demonstrates VW’s talents in both the product and the cost side,” Metzler analyst Juergen Pieper said.

Quarterly highlights: Lufthansa, BP & Reckitt Benckiser

Shares in airline Lufthansa (LHA.DE), oil giant BP (BP.L) and Durex condom maker Reckitt Benckiser (RB.L) are all on the move on Tuesday morning after reporting their latest quarterly results.

Lufthansa stock is down about 6% in Germany. Reckitt stock is off by about 5% in London, making it the worst performer on the FTSE 100 index (^FTSE). BP is shooting up by about 4%.

Related: Catch-up on what the UK government’s 2018 budget means for your personal finances

Restaurant Group swallows Wagamama

Britain’s Restaurant Group (RTN.L) said on Tuesday it would buy the Wagamama noodle chain for £357m ($457m) in cash, expanding its chain of pubs and eateries.

The deal marks a shift for Restaurant Group, most of whose restaurants and gastropubs focus on American, TexMex and traditional British cuisine. It operates the restaurant chains Garfunkel’s and Frankie & Benny’s. Shares in the company dropped about 16% in morning trading.

The company said the deal included 138 directly-operated restaurants in the UK and the US, along with 58 franchised restaurants in Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand.

Wagamama began in 1992 in London and has expanded steadily to become a familiar feature on British high streets.

Chinese currency drops to 10-year low

Concerns about a new wave of US tariffs on China sent the yuan to its weakest level in a decade on Tuesday and undermined emerging-market stocks and currencies as investors worried about knock-on effects for global growth and prices.

Looking ahead to the US trading day

A range of large US companies are reporting quarterly results on Tuesday ahead of the opening bell, including General Electric (GE), MasterCard (MA), Under Armour (UA), Coca-Cola (KO) and Pfizer (PFE). After the close, Facebook (FB) and eBay (EBAY) will report results.

This comes in the midst of a huge amount of volatility in US stock markets. US stock futures were pointing down ahead of the open on Tuesday, indicating investors could experience another day of gut-wrenching falls.

With files from Reuters

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