Global markets failed to see a sell-off as previously feared though some US retail bricks-and-mortar data coming through is clearly poor: JC Penney has revealed weak first quarter numbers with its stock price today hitting $4.75, an all-time low.
The numbers were reinforced by grim earnings news from Kohl’s and Dillard’s. The pound was down -0.03% at 1.28775 while the euro climbed 0.64% against the dollar to 1.09300, though down -0.57% on the week overall.
- UK FTSE 100 7,435.39 +0.66%
- Dow 20,907.09 -0.05%
- S&P 500 2,391.54 -0.12%
- Nasdaq 6,119.11 +0.05%
- DAX 30 12,741.73 +0.26%
- CAC 40 5,396.88 +0.26%
- Gold 1,228.90 +0.38%
- Oil WTI 47.52 -0.67%
In the UK FTSE 100 pharma player AstraZeneca saw its shares finish more than 8% up after strong anti-cancer late-stage trial results emerged, helping the FTSE 100 to 7,435.39, up +0.66%.
“We look forward to working with regulatory authorities around the world to bring Imfinzi to lung cancer patients as soon as possible," AstraZeneca said.
There was a 2.67% lift for BT shares while GKN and Persimmon took -1.91% and -1.89% falls.
More evidence that UK new car sales continue to power the economy. Car finance deals, typically Personal Contract Purchases, soared in value to £3.6bn in March, a 13% surge.
There is worry an on-going binge of cheap debt-based PCP deals could compromise consumer borrowing, particularly from already indebted households.
The Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority have expressed anxiety on the issue.
Back across the Atlantic: US consumer prices headed 0.2% higher in April according to the US Labor Department. In total for the 12 months to the end of April, prices edged 2.2% higher.
At the same time US retail sales also picked up in April, up 0.4%. On a year-on-year basis sales climbed 4.5%. This uptick was supported by the US University of Michigan confidence index which leapt from 97.0 to 97.7 in April.
These numbers may support momentum for a US rate hike.
Staying in the US Fiat Chrysler have announced a 1.25m global pickup truck safety recall. The automotive giant says a faulty software code may potentially compromise a seat belt lock mechanism and side airbag in the event of an accident.