A strong day for miners with Fresnillo and Randgold Resources up 5.03% and 3.62% taking values to 1,503p and 7,150p respectively.
However Hikma Pharma and Centrica took heavy bruisings, down -8.23% and -5.41%. Also BT, down -4.5% to 297.85p as investors woke to a jobs cull and news of boss Gavin Pattinson’s pay cut.
Earlier today the Bank of England (BOE) snipped its GDP forecast, trimmed to 1.9% from 2.0%, but maintained interest rates at 0.25% on a 7-1 vote. Significantly, the BOE hinted interest rates may edge up earlier than thought.
Despite the threat of a rate hike sterling earlier slipped 0.5% against the dollar and euro. The higher euro also put pressure on European stocks with both the Dax and CAC 40 falling around 0.65% at points.
In the US, stocks tumbled sharply - the worst daily drop since mid April – with the Dow down -0.55% at around the 20,832 mark. Home Depot and DuPont fell almost 1.5% and 1.13% respectively.
Responding, Gold is up 0.65% to 1,226.80 while WTI oil also saw a bump, up 1.4% to 47.98, thanks to a dip in weekly US crude inventories.
No end to wage squeeze
The Bank of England has warned of a continuation of the spending squeeze as real wages stagnate and shop price hikes continue to dent consumer confidence.
As far as inflation goes, the Bank hiked its inflation forecast from 2.4% to 2.7%.
Across the channel a blow for Uber: Maciej Szpunar, the European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) advocate general says Uber could be regulated as a transport player rather than a digital service, as Uber has previously argued.
“Although it is for the national court to determine and assess the facts,” a statement said, “the service [Uber] in question is a composite service, since part of it is provided by electronic means while the other part, by definition, is not.”
A final ECJ ruling is due later in the year.
Snap shares under pressure
Snap shares have been under severe pressure today – the stock saw a 20% decline – following its first quarter numbers which missed estimates. Overall the company reported a $2.2bn loss.
At $18.89 its shares are now close to their 2 March $17 IPO level. However the stock got some support from Morgan Stanley, citing improved user offerings and engagement.
The pound ended at 1.28860, down -0.38% with the euro at 1.0871, up 0.01%.