The Bank of England’s bi-annual stability report emerges from Threadneedle Street this morning, 11am. Expect hints of future interest rate rises plus on-going anxiety about UK consumer debt, especially around PCP car loans and general credit card over-extendedness.
There’s a key ECB President Draghi speech tonight though it’s anticipated Draghi will keep to the on-going monetary easing script. Later today, Fed Reserve chair Janet Yellen talks about economic issues at London's Royal Academy. Her words will be closely scrutinised by markets for hints of further policy moves.
Yesterday saw the dollar hit a one-month high against the Japanese yen, also recovering against the euro. The euro was up 0.13% overnight to $1.1193 while the pound was 0.10% higher at $1.2732. Gold is at $1,250.70 with crude oil at $43.71.
- UK FTSE 100 7,446.80 +0.31%
- Dow 21,409.55 +0.07%
- S&P 500 2,439.07 +0.03%
- Nasdaq 6,247.15 -0.29%
- Nikkei 225 20,210.06 +0.28%
- DAX 12,770.83 +0.29%
- CAC 40 5,295.75 +0.56%
- Gold 1,245.90 -0.04%
- Oil WTI 43.48 +0.23%
Debenhams admits new sales fall
High street retailer Debenhams has warned of more sales pressure and “market volatility” for the second half of the year. Like-for-like sales were down almost 1% for the 15 weeks to 17 June it said this morning. There was some improvement in full price sales, up 1.7%.
Digital growth is strong it claims, “up 47% year on year” with better conversion rates claimed. Across the international division constant currency performance improved, “and the foreign exchange impact has remained positive in this period. Underlying markets remain mixed.”
Debenhams says full year 2017 profit before tax "will be within the range of market expectations, but should current market volatility continue, profit before tax could be towards the lower end of the current range.”
Tough trading for Carpetright
Next, full-year numbers from Carpetright. Group revenue is upped slightly to £457.6m (2016: £456.8m) but underlying profit before tax slumps to £14.4m (2016: £18.3m), in line with market expectations Carpetright points out.
UK like-for-like sales were up 2% for the seven weeks to 17 June 2017 with refurbished stores outperforming, Carpetright claims. But European sales were down -1.2% thanks to a mix of store refurbishment and public holidays.
“While a challenging consumer environment and competitive landscape remain headwinds,” says chief exec Wilf Walsh, “we are confident the additional potential in our self-help initiatives will support an increase in market share."
Lastly, a new Deloitte survey claims the UK remains the most popular country to move to for foreign workers. However the picture switches for EU workers already in the UK. Amongst highly skilled workers, 47% are considering leaving the UK by 2022.
David Sproul, senior partner of Deloitte North West Europe, says overseas workers, especially those from the EU, say they are more likely to leave the UK than before.
“That points to a short-to-medium term skills deficit that can be met in part by upskilling our domestic workforce but which would also benefit from an immigration system that is attuned to the needs of the economy.”
While EU nationals in the UK are to be offered “settled status” from PM Theresa May a reciprocal deal from Europe is still unclear.
Breaking news: The Competition and Markets Authority says a move by Heineken to buy 1,900 pubs from Punch Taverns "might be acceptable".