No surprise that the US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged yesterday though there was more than a nod to winding back the cheap money program – but not yet.
"The committee," the Fed said, "expects to begin implementing its balance sheet normalization…relatively soon, provided that the economy evolves broadly as anticipated.” Whether that “relatively soon” is this year – September – or later is the real question and hinges on an inflation climb.
The Fed ambivalence did little for the US dollar, down 0.18% overnight to 93.33, a 14-month low, while the euro was up 0.12%, taking it to $1.1740 while the pound strengthened to $1.3141, a 10-month high. Against the euro the pound was down 0.15%.
Later today US unemployment numbers emerge (1.30pm); at 11am in the UK the CBI puts out its distributive trades survey, a guide to UK retail trends.
- UK FTSE 100 7,452.32 +0.24%
- Dow 21,711.01 +0.45%
- S&P 500 2,477.83 +0.03%
- Nasdaq 6,390.00 +0.08%
- Nikkei 225 20,161.55 +0.55%
- DAX 12,305.11 +0.33%
- CAC 40 5,190.17 +0.56%
- Gold 1,269.10 +1.08%
- Oil WTI 48.63 -0.25%
Facebook and BAT earnings up
Good news for Facebook which says revenues soared 45% for the April-June quarter while profits did even better, surging 71% to $3.9bn. The company’s head count is also substantially up – a 43% climb to more than 20,000.
"We had a good second quarter and first half of the year," said CEO founder Mark Zuckerberg. “Our community is now two billion people and we’re focusing on bringing the world closer together.”
Dunhill and Benson & Hedges maker British American Tobacco (BAT) says 2017 half-year revenues came in at £7,717m, a 15.7% climb at constant currency levels while profits surged 16.3% to £2,574m.