The Eurozone’s July inflation figure came in at 1.3% this morning, some distance from February’s 2% inflation peak where the ECB would prefer it to be. Eurostat, the official statistical office of the EU, said energy costs edged up 2.2% compared to 1.9% in June while services inflation slipped to 1.5% compared to 1.6%.
However core inflation, stripping out sensitive energy prices, pushed up to 1.3% from 1.2% in July, the highest level since midsummer 2013 adding a degree of support for the EU's tapering program - whenever it kicks in.
All this did not hold back the euro. Just after 4pm the euro-dollar pair was at $1.1790 having hit $1.1798 earlier, its highest level since the start of 2015. Oil prices though slipped with WTI coming in -0.82% lower at $49.3 while Brent crude was at $51.9, down -0.61%.
- UK FTSE 100 7,372 +0.05%
- Dow 21,893.60 +0.28%
- S&P 500 2,469.42 -0.11%
- Nasdaq 6,348.69 -0.42%
- Nikkei 225 19,925.18 -0.17%
- DAX 12,110.33 -0.43%
- CAC 40 5,108.17 -0.45%
- Gold 1,274.30 -0.08%
- Oil WTI 49.32 -0.78%
Eurozone confidence climbs
The euro has also been boosted by more confident numbers across the eurozone generally: Spain saw its economy expand 0.9% in the second quarter thanks to more consumer spending and an uptick for exports. France’s economy also showed more signs of life, up 0.5%.
Enough, in total, for the European Commission to claim that economic sentiment across the eurozone was at a 10-year high.
US property sales push up
Over in the US the National Association of Realtors reported that US home sales climbed in June. Good news given that the previous quarter had indicated consecutive monthly climbs. However supply remains tight across most regions apart from the Midwest.
"It appears the ongoing run-up in price growth in many areas and less homes for sale at bargain prices are forcing some investors to step away from the market," said Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist. "Fewer investors paying in cash is good news as it could mean a little less competition for the homes first-time buyers can afford."
Despite worry earlier about Snap’s share price at 4.30pm the messaging operator’s stock was holding steady, up 0.22% at $13.84.
The FTSE 100 closed up almost nine points at 7,377.14, up 0.12% with a 4% climb for Severn Trent and a 3% rise for United Utilities Group. However there was pressure on nicotine players with Imperials Brands and BAT tumbling 6% and 5% respectively.
Breaking news: protestors are gathering outside the Bank of England in support of striking staff protesting over a 1% pay rise. New figures from the Financial Conduct Authority claims the amount of UK unsecured credit has hit £200bn for the first time since the global crisis almost 10 years ago.