Interactive Investor

Must read: UK interest rates, BAE Systems, ITV

Our head of investment rounds up the morning's big news.

9th May 2024 08:01

by Victoria Scholar from interactive investor

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Bank of England sign and building 600


      All eyes are on the Bank of England today – it is expected to keep interest rates on hold at 5.25%. But with inflation coming down, focus will be on clues from the central bank as to when it might finally begin cutting rates, potentially around August.

      In terms of corporate updates, BAE Systems (LSE:BA.) said its on track to meet its full-year guidance for higher earnings, driven partly by a recent commitment from the UK government to raise its defence spending. 

      Overnight, China’s exports rose by 1.5% year-on-year, ahead of expectations for 1% and a major rebound from March’s 7.5% slide. Imports gained 8.4%, also beating forecasts for 5.4%.


      ITV (LSE:ITV) reported a 7% slide in first-quarter total revenue to £887 million. While advertising revenue rose by 3%, ITV studios revenue fell sharply by 16%. However, it issued some upbeat forecasts for the current period – it anticipates as 12% jump in ad revenue this quarter, up 8% across the first half of the year. 

      ITV Studios took a hit last quarter from the US writers’ and actors’ strike and its performance is expected to be broadly flat this year. But after a tough period last year, shares in ITV have been rebounding in 2024  – in March the company said it is seeing more confidence in the advertising market and it enjoyed its biggest drama success in more than a decade last quarter, Mr Bates vs The Post Office, helping to boost investor confidence in the business.

      ITV is also hoping for a boost from programmes like Hells Kitchen US in the second half of the year and it also pinning its hopes on stronger ad revenues around the Euros football championships which begin in June.

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