PM Theresa May was boosted earlier when UK-EU trade talks were signalled for December (though plenty of inevitable wobbles before then) by European President Donald Tusk (pictured). The impact on sterling was immediate: by close to 4pm the pound was up almost +0.80% against the euro at 1.1187 while the pound was +0.29% higher against the greenback at 1.3189.
On the surface, the EU trade discussion news is positive for sterling. Yet there’s still ambiguity over a UK interest rate rise and British wages and inflation remain well out of whack (too low & too high, respectively). It’s also thought the British prime minister will not – currently – raise a €20bn divorce offer to EU leaders. Uncertainty still stalks for a pound recovery.
However, better news for the Government earlier when the Office of National Statistics confirmed the UK’s September deficit came in at £5.902bn. That’s an -11% drop on August. Public spending isn’t down overall (despite claims from the Conservatives) but tax receipts are higher. Yet in the shadows lies the P-word, Productivity. It’s going nowhere for the UK, still.
In the US stocks continued to pump higher with the Dow up +0.33% boosted by President Trump’s tax program breakthrough. Actually progress will be fraught – warning – with technical difficulties. At the end of trading the FTSE 100 was +0.19% up at 7,523 with Standard Chartered up +3.13% while Fresnillo and Unilever were down by -3.6% and -3.2% respectively.
- UK FTSE 100 7,523.23 +0.19%
- Dow 23,237.86 +0.32%
- S&P 500 2,570.02 +0.31%
- Nasdaq 6,629.46 +0.37%
- Nikkei 225 21,457.64 +0.04%
- DAX 12,999.44 +0.07%
- CAC 40 5,378.71 +0.19%
- Gold 1,284.20 -0.45%
- Oil WTI 51.48 +0.37%
General Electric shares down on Q3 earnings; more worry for Kobe Steel
In the US despite the upbeat corporate earnings mood General Electric has snipped profits guidance following a -5% third quarter earnings slump from its key oil and gas and power businesses. Higher input costs are also blamed.
Full year operating profits will likely land at $1.05-$1.10 a share. That’s in comparison to a July GE claim of $1.60-$1.70 a share – some fall. There was better news on the online digital side for GE (where it has invested heavily), up +50%. General Electric shares slid -2.5% on the news today.