The latest escalation of threats following North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test yesterday saw Japanese shares down almost -1% overnight. The South Korean Kospi slipped more than -0.70% – though more steeply earlier – while the yen climbed. The Hang Seng was also down markedly, by -0.9%.
President Trump has threatened sanctions, including hitting countries that do business with North Korea. But that would hit business with China (not to mention other Asian economies), now the biggest trading partner with the US. A lot of rhetoric around.
More hand-wringing over Brexit negotations: a new BBC poll suggests a UK interest rate rise won’t occur until 2019, despite recent noises of hikes from some Monetary Policy Committee members.
"We believe that policymakers will be reluctant to tighten monetary policy until greater clarity emerges around the UK's post-EU trading framework, and our expectation of declining inflation through 2018 should also reduce the pressure for an interest rate rise," Stuart Green from Santander told the BBC. Just before 8am sterling was at $1.2954 and the euro was at $1.1890.
- UK FTSE 100 7,438.50 +0.11%
- Dow 21,987.56 +0.18%
- S&P 500 2,476.55 +0.20%
- Nasdaq 6,221.91 -1.94%
- Nikkei 225 19,512.36 -0.90%
- DAX 12,142.64 +0.72%
- CAC 40 5,123.26 +0.74%
- Gold 1,340.90 +0.79%
- Oil WTI 47.35 +0.08%
Tesco execs go to trial
Today three ex Tesco execs – Carl Rogberg, 50, Chris Bush, 51, John Scouler, 49 – appear at Southwark Crown Court charged with fraud and false accounting today. The case goes back to the role of the three men when Tesco was found to have falsely inflated its profits in 2014 by more than £300m.
Tesco has agreed a £129m fine over the scandal as part of a deferred prosecution agreement with the Serious Fraud Office though this agreement is not an admittance of guilt. The episode shone a spotlight on how suppliers themselves were treated as a source of potential profit. The three accused men have denied the charges.
The grocer's shares currently sell at 182.90p, down -11.7% year-to-date but +6.3% up on the last year as a whole.
Northern Rock investors demand compensation
A decade ago many Northern Rock shareholders saw substantial assets wiped out when the bank was nationalised. No compensation was paid. Despite the taxpayer concern Northern Rock loans were settled – and shareholders now want compensation following the sale of Northern Rock assets.
Chairman of a lobby group representing 16,000 shareholders, Dennis Grainger has asked Theresa May for a meeting. The group is keen to compare how Northern Rock was treated compared with other major players at the time, including RBS.
The ex-chair of the Northern Rock Foundation, Alastair Balls, told This is Money that the government has taken an overall profit. “The Treasury has come out with probably a profit of around £8.5bn.”
Breaking news: Sainsbury's boss Mike Coupe says fresh food imports could be at risk if customs controls are imposed post-Brexit. Chris Sander, chief exec of Johnson Service Group rental workwear operator is to quit.