Even multiple hurricanes couldn’t kill higher US economic growth: US GDP came in at +3.0% for the July-September quarter earlier – +2.7-3.0% was broadly anticipated – despite some serious weather issues.
Solid consumer spending, exports and business investment were largely responsible for the uptick. Construction spending through was on the defensive. On a year-on-year basis US GDP climbs to +2.3%.
Elsewhere the forex markets were shaken by the Catalan parliament voting for separation from Spain while the Spanish parliament simultaneously rubber-stamped direct rule. The worries about Spain look likely to deepen: Spain's debt load is three times the amount of Greece owed not that long ago and wealthy Catalonia is a key contributor to the Spanish economy.
The independence clash saw the euro plummet -0.60% to 1.1582, its lowest level since midsummer. The pound was down -0.37% against the greenback at 1.3111 while the euro was down -0.22% against sterling.
The FTSE 100 closed tonight up 18 points at 7,505.03 with Cillit Bang maker Reckitt Benckiser taking the biggest price surge, up 3%; Experian shares climbed +2.7%. BA owner IAG saw shares tumble more than -7% as investors stressed about revenue growth per seat, slumping from +1.5% to +0.7% in the last quarter.
- UK FTSE 100 7,505 +0.25%
- Dow 23,397.15 -0.02%
- S&P 500 2,572.43 +0.47%
- Nasdaq 6,654.42 +1.49%
- Nikkei 225 22,008.45 +1.24%
- DAX 13,210.59 +0.59%
- CAC 40 5,495.31 +0.73%
- Gold 1,271.60 +0.16%
- Oil WTI 53.44 +1.52%
Oil crests $60 a barrel
North Sea Brent crude prices breached $60 earlier today. The last time Brent crude was at this price was July 2016. Oil’s gains were given a push higher thanks to rhetoric from Russia and Saudi Arabia about an OPEC production cut extension.
Oil though has proved vulnerable to a sell-off when prices reach this level: $60 could prove difficult to sustain, despite many ‘long’ positions taken by hedge funds. Also, positions on oil production can be retracted. The Russian position, looking ahead, may prove unreliable; earlier this week Energy Minister Alexander Novak said there was a good chance that Russia would hike oil production in 2018.