Some highly mixed trading moves from Asia overnight. Japanese stocks fell slightly (Nikkei -0.16%) along with the Asia Dow (-0.18%). However the Hang Seng surged +1.50% to 33,143.98 with banks very much in the ascendant: China Construction Bank Corp and Bank of China climbed +5.3% and +4.4%. Tech player Tencent saw a +2.5% rise.
Some of the volatility can be blamed on the extreme mixed messages emerging from the President Trump administration pitching tent in Davos briefly. Trump appears to have jumped tracks claiming “ultimately” he wants a strong dollar.
The remarks are in complete contrast to US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s words, espousing a weak currency for trade advantage (something Trump has also advocated). Contrary signals? Confusion? Entirely par for the course. Jumping on Trump’s acknowledgement, the spot dollar soared then fell back (currently 88.92, 7.15am).
More drama also on the UK side with Theresa May having to slap chancellor Philip Hammond down after his ‘soft Brexit’ remarks yesterday. Hammond’s hope to stay “as close as possible” to the EU enraged Brexiteers with Tory whips making their feelings clear to No 10. The pound is unscathed though, up +0.7% to 1.425 and +0.15% higher against the dollar to 1.1434. UK GDP Q4 numbers emerge at 9.30am.
- UK FTSE 100 7,615.84 -0.36%
- DAX 13,298.36 -0.87%
- CAC 40 5,481.21 -0.25%
- Euro Stoxx 600 398.56 -0.56%
- Dow 26,071.72 +0.21%
- S&P 500 2,810.30 +0.44%
- Nasdaq 7,336.38 +0.55%
- Nikkei 225 23,631.88 -0.16%
- Gold 1,353.20 -0.73%
- Oil WTI 63.40 +0.05%
Soros warns on FAANG stocks
Last night billionaire investor George Soros took aim at Google and Facebook, accusing them of threatening democracy – and also warning that tax oversight and regulation would overtake them eventually.
"It takes a real effort to assert and defend what John Stuart Mill called 'the freedom of mind',” Soros said. And he went on: "There is a possibility that once lost, people who grow up in the digital age will have difficulty in regaining it."