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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Barclays, Lloyds, Next, Amazon and Peugeot

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL –January 17, 2019 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Barclays Plc (BCS - Free Report) , Lloyds Banking Group plc (LYG - Free Report) , Next Plc (NXGPY - Free Report) , Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) and Peugeot SA (PUGOY - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

May’s Brexit Plan Defeat: Here Are the Winners & Losers

In a resounding defeat, British Prime Minister Theresa May Brexit deal was voted down in the parliamentary. British lawmakers voted 432-202 against May’s proposed withdrawal from the European Union (EU). Nearly 118 rebel Conservative MPs voted against the proposal on grounds of being weak, lending an upper hand to the EU.

This was the biggest defeat suffered by a UK Prime Minister in modern history and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has immediately called for a motion of no-confidence in the government, asking May to step down. But no matter which party comes to power, the EU has said that they won’t change their stance, which now makes any kind of a deal next to impossible.

Some may argue that May still has three working days to map out a new plan of action. However, the size of the defeat makes it difficult for May to tweak the deal and change the mindset of the lawmakers, eventually raising the possibility of a no-deal Brexit in the near term.

A “no deal” Brexit may bode well for Britain. It will not only help Britain to exit EU completely but also help Britain gain full control over its borders and sign free trade agreements with nations across the globe. Britain will be able to shape its own destiny and be a sovereign nation in true sense of the term.

Here’s a summary of some of the sectors and stocks in the United Kingdom that are gaining and losing from May’s big Brexit deal loss —

Pound Gains, Rather Surprisingly

The British pound’s reaction toward May’s defeat was rather perplexing. The pound traded at $1.2881 versus the U.S. dollar on Jan 15, compared with $1.2866 late Monday. Maybe traders are expecting an extension of Article 50 (which is the legal means by which a country leaves the Union) deadline, which resulted in a stronger pound.

Nonetheless, the pound's strengthening against the U.S. dollar hasn’t gone down well with U.K.’s large caps, like oil majors and pharmaceutical bigwigs, as it makes their exports more expensive. Meanwhile, firms that generate most of their revenues domestically and are more influenced by the U.K.’s current high economic growth are the biggest beneficiaries.

Banks See Mixed Outcome

International banks like Barclays Plc saw its shares lose 0.5% due to currency impact. Meanwhile, domestically-focused institutions like Lloyds Banking Group plc should breathe a sigh of relief as sterling is treading higher.

Meanwhile, fundamentals are much better for British lenders compared to their international counterparts. Deutsche Bank analysts predominantly think investors should prefer U.K.-exposed names to more international firms.

An Inevitable No Deal Bleeds Retailers, Food Makers, Car Parts & Media

The prospect of the U.K. crashing out of the EU without a deal, will eventually lead to a drop in pound and higher inflation. This in turn will squeeze the real wage and reduce consumer spending, something that doesn’t bode well for retailers. A weaker pound, by the way, also leads to higher import cost for retailers.

Thus, the no-deal Brexit will adversely impact retailers like Next Plc at a time when they are already grappling with the encroachment of online players like Amazon.com, Inc.

U.K., by the way, imports almost half of what it consumes. And most of the food and agricultural products are imported from the EU. Thus, lack of a smooth deal would lead to an increase in agricultural import prices, and will dent the margins of producers and grocers.

Carmakers like Peugeot SA, in the meantime, have urged both the United Kingdom and EU to seal a deal to prevent production disruption. This Brexit deal uncertainty will surely distress carmakers. Meanwhile, Britain’s biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, ITV Plc, has cautioned that revenues will decline, irrespective of a good or bad or a no-Brexit deal.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit http://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.



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