Apple shares were down close to -3% earlier today as investors worried about reports of falling iPhone 8 sales. To make matters worse iWatch problems in China reared their head following connection issues. Just before 4pm Apple shares were down -2.49% at $155.85.
Apple’s new iPhone X goes on sale on 3 November; it is difficult to tell how much pent-up demand there is for the new model – or not – given the minimum $999 Apple wants for the upgrade.
Back in Europe anti-Catalonia independence sentiment pushed the euro higher, up +0.56% against the dollar at $1.1853 despite better US economic numbers (the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Survey beat market expectations at 27.9).
Either way, sentiment about European unity appears improved though both the German Dax and French CAC 40 took chunky falls earlier (see below).
“Regional elections seem a very likely outcome within the next few months,” said Barclays in a research note this afternoon. “Even if the underlying demand for independence by a significant part of Catalonian society is high we believe independence remains highly unlikely as it would require important constitutional changes.”
At close of trading tonight the FTSE 100 was down almost 20 points at 7,523.04 with Marmite and Ben & Jerry's maker Unilever heading the Big Board's fallers, slumping more than -5.5% as Q3 sales are battered by hurricanes for the Brit-Dutch titan, plus increased competition generally.
WPP and BAE Systems took -3% and -2.5% falls also.
- UK FTSE 100 7,523 -0.26%
- Dow 23,076.21 -0.35%
- S&P 500 2,551.88 -0.37%
- Nasdaq 6,574.72 -0.75%
- Nikkei 225 21,448.52 +0.40%
- DAX 12,974.10 -0.53%
- CAC 40 5,360.84 -0.43%
- Gold 1,287.90 +0.38%
- Oil WTI 51.38 -1.25%
UK retail sales flag
UK retail sales came under the microscope earlier and the numbers weren't pretty: September growth fell -0.8% dragging the quarterly three month result to just +1.5% overall. The lowest level since early 2013 and further evidence for the Bank of England that a coming rate rise will go down badly for many UK consumers.
ONS statistician Kate Davies said there is “a continuation of the underlying trend of steady growth in sales volumes following a weak start to the year, and a background of generally rising prices. These increased costs are reflected in the more rapid growth in the amount spent when compared with the quantity bought.”
Either way, inflation means plenty of holding back remains present in the economy. Earlier this week UK inflation hit 3%, the highest level for five years.
Trump to meet Yellen – rehired?
In the US it’s reported President Donald Trump will meet Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen this week. Yellen’s term is up in February though there is still a chance she may be re-hired from a shortlist of five, including Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council and chief economic adviser to Trump.
“Removing her at this juncture may be a mistake, and it's possible the president understands this," Michael Block, chief market strategist at Rhino Trading Partners said earlier in the week, reported by CNN.
Whether a so far close-lipped Yellen wants the job is another thing. She has made it clear that the current US bull market, helped by super-low interest rates, cannot go on indefinitely. Trump, on the other hand, spends little time talking the bull run down.
There are gaping fissures between the two on immigration policy also.
Breaking news: BP says chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg is to retire though Svanberg will chair BP’s annual general meeting in May 2018. Car maker Nissan is suspending domestic production to examine final inspection protocols following a recent huge recall. It’s expected production will resume in two weeks.