Asian markets weakened slightly overnight with the Hang Seng down almost -0.20% while the Nikkei ended flat at 22,011 following the pressure of a stronger yen. The Bank of Japan has forecast slightly higher growth and kept interest rates on hold – no tightening expected in the medium term.
In the US the Dow closed down -0.36% last night but Apple stock touched new intraday highs while the stock closed up +2.3% at $166 as anticipation builds on sales for new iPhones 8 and X.
Overnight the euro was -0.07% down against the dollar at 1.1644 while the pound was up +0.05% at 1.3218. The pound has more or less priced in a Thursday +0.25% rate rise from the Bank of England but it will be the tone of delivery on future possible rises that will matter most on Thursday.
However a ‘wild’ card may still be played – no rate rise, which will exert pressure on sterling. Some economists worry the UK economy is slowing. “There may be further Brexit negotiation uncertainty, but there is arguably a lot of it already. Instead, we prefer to trade with conviction the idea that this [rate rise] is not a policy mistake and that the BoE is on a hiking cycle,” Nomura told poundsterlinglive.
Meanwhile, all eyes on the share direction of bookies such as William Hill, Ladbrokes Coral and Paddy Power Betfair. The release of a government review on fixed-odds betting terminals – responsible for a huge chunk of profits – is due later this morning. EU GDP numbers are out later.
- UK FTSE 100 7,487.81 -0.23%
- Dow 23,348.74 -0.36%
- S&P 500 2,572.83 -0.32%
- Nasdaq 6,698.96 -0.03%
- Nikkei 225 22,011.61 -0.01%
- DAX 13,229.57 +0.09%
- CAC 40 5,493.93 -0.01%
- Gold 1,278.20 +0.04%
- Oil WTI 54.10 -0.09%
Ryanir profits surge; BP confirms share buyback
Despite recent chronic flight cancellations – and a very public dunking – Ryanair claims a +11% half year profits climb to €1.29bn. This reporting period does not include the brunt of the cancellations difficulty – 700,000 passengers were affected – so the latest numbers need to be read in the light of that.
Ryanair claims passenger traffic was up +11% to 72.1m. Interestingly, Ryanair claims full-year profit guidance of €1.4-1.45bn is still on track. Fares are predicted to slip between four and six percent in the second half of the year.