Breakfast Briefing

Google to take on Siri with iPhone app

May 16, 2017

Google - is set to launch a new version of its popular Google Assistant AI app, possibly as soon as later this week, which will be designed to run on an iPhone. This really does take the fight for voice controlled services to Apple and its Siri product. it likely also offers some big clues as to where the user experience for many applications will be going next, and that’s driven by voice rather than physical commands.

easyJet - the late timing of the Easter weekend along with the collapse in the value of the pound are the factors being blamed by the budget airline for a sharp jump in losses during the first half of its trading year. However, bookings for the summer are reportedly looking strong and there’s also the fact that the pound has recovered well so far in the wake of the Brexit vote, at least against the Euro. With competitors cutting capacity too, this looks like it may be nothing more than a brief spell of turbulence.

Vodafone - the mobile phone giant had a tough tine in 2016 with competitive pressures hitting its performance in India, whilst the UK also failed to deliver, but the company now seems convinced it has turned a corner. Shares are up 3% in early trade this morning after full year results helped clear the air with investors, with news of further cost cutting to free up cashflow seemingly particularly welcome. 

NCC - is a Manchester based cybersecurity company and its shares found favour yesterday, along with peer Sophos, as investors saw the potential for rapid growth in the market as companies and governments try to prevent a repeat of last week’s worldwide ransomware attack. However, only evidence that a large number of potential customers don't have adequate protections in place will be enough to sustain a step change in the outlook for this sector.

UK - the latest inflation data is due for release this morning at 9,30am. The Bank of England seems confident that the spike we have seen won’t be long lived, which removes pressure from employers to push through wage rises, but the bank’s economists have been wrong about this before...