It has been a bad year for UK companies trying to accurately predict their profits. According to a report by financial services firm EY, the number of profit warnings issued by the UK's largest listed companies in 2014 was higher than in any year since the height of the financial crisis.
During the 12 months to mid-December this year, 87 profit warnings were issued by FTSE 350 companies – 12 more than were issued in 2013. The last time this number was exceeded was in 2008, when 90 warnings were issued. In terms of the number of companies issuing warnings, this amounted to approximately one in five – a higher proportion than in any year since 2008.
Of all the major companies that have issued warnings this year, Tesco has suffered the most. In December, it issued its fourth warning in six months as its business continued to be affected by trading inaccuracies. But for the majority of companies issuing warnings, the cause was poor performance in the energy and mining.
The dollar matched a two-year high versus the euro amid speculation the Federal Reserve will increase interest rates as early as April while other major central banks maintain monetary stimulus.
During Fridays trading gauge of the U.S. currency was about 0.2 percent from the highest level in more than five years before reports on Tuesday that analysts said will show America’s economic growth quickened and orders for durable goods rose for the month of December.
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