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Business news: November boost for UK retail and housing

By Jenny McCall

12:25, 7 December 2021

A BMW i8 Roadster electric vehicle
BMW increases its sales targets – Photo: Shutterstock.

Key points

  • House prices keep rising: The housing boom doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Latest data from the Halifax house price index shows that UK property prices are rising at their fastest rate for 15 years, due to a shortage of homes and low mortgage rates.
  • Oil keeps gaining: Oil prices are making up for last week’s downward trend. Today, oil prices maintained their upward momentum, with US benchmark crude joining European Brent crude above the $70-a-barrel mark, as fears over the severity of the Omicron coronavirus variant continued to ease.
  • China’s central bank will cut lenders’ reserve requirement by 50 basis points next week, freeing up CNY1.2trn ($188bn) worth of liquidity into the banking system to help stimulate the slowing economy.
  • UK retail sales are up: Retail sales in the UK grew above their three-month average last month, indicating a boost from the US import of Black Friday sales, which were seen in stores throughout November.

Business and economic news

  • Electric sales: German automaker BMW has increased sales targets for the next couple of years after delivering its one millionth electrified vehicle.
  • It was good news today for British-American plumbing group Ferguson (FERG), which saw its stock price rise on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday morning as it reported soaring profits. FERG stock was up nearly 5% to £121.10 ($160.50) in the first hour of trading.
  • Back in the black: UK defence group Babcock International (BABI) has returned to profit after enduring heavy losses last year. The company made an operating profit of £75.4m ($100m) for the six months ending 30 September 2021 – compared with losses of £785.3m for the corresponding period in 2020.

Markets

Stocks: Futures tracking the US Tech 100 index jumped on Tuesday as technology stocks rebounded with easing concerns about the Omicron variant.

Oil:  US West Texas Intermediate climbed 1.7% to $70.70 a barrel in early London trade, while Brent gained 1.6% to $74.25 a barrel.

Gold: Gold prices steadied on Tuesday as improved risk sentiment and a firmer dollar offset support for bullion after worries around Omicron started to fade.

AUD/USD

0.68 Price
+0.370% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0062%
Short position overnight fee -0.0020%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.00018

USD/JPY

157.98 Price
-0.580% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee 0.0112%
Short position overnight fee -0.0194%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.090

EUR/USD

1.09 Price
+0.350% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0086%
Short position overnight fee 0.0004%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.00040

GBP/JPY

205.31 Price
-0.150% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee 0.0106%
Short position overnight fee -0.0188%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.555

Forex: The Australian dollar made sharp gains against the greenback following the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) expectations of a quicker recovery of the economy.

Crypto: Bitcoin rebounded after yesterday’s dip. The popular crypto currency rose over 5% in afternoon trade. Ethereum also reported some good news. The currency rose over 9% today in early afternoon trade.

What to watch this week

  • French carmaker Renault (RENA) announced yesterday that it has revised down its forecast for engineering and support job cuts in France between 2022 and 2024 to 1,700 from the 2,000 job losses previously expected.
  • The US will release its consumer price inflation data on Friday and investors are eagerly awaiting results. The UK will report its GDP figures the same day.

Read more: UK house prices rising at fastest rate for 15 years

Markets in this article

BABl
Babcock
5.371 USD
0.01 +0.190%
BMW
BMW
92.19 USD
0.78 +0.860%
Oil - Brent
Brent Oil
84.580 USD
-0.522 -0.610%
FERG
Ferguson plc
156.35 USD
2.9 +1.910%
Gold
Gold
2411.42 USD
-4.25 -0.180%

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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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