A rash of US numbers supported global shares today. This morning both the Dow Jones and S&P indexes rose further with the Dow Jones just 70 points off the 24,000 mark at 3.45pm. The surge was helped by better US growth figures and more hope for President Trump’s tax code changes – including slashing corporate income tax from 35% to 20% – being passed.
Also, increased positive sentiment for a December Fed rate rise (though a rate climb is more or less priced in). The Dow Jones already gained 250 points yesterday on top of today’s rises. The White House was further boosted by the news that Q3 GDP growth was revised upwards from 3% to 3.3% today on annualised calculations.
Any flies in the ointment? Yesterday new US numbers indicated slipping wholesale and retail inventories last month, enough to see some economists snip their fourth quarter US GDP growth estimates.
European stocks were also on the climb. The German Dax was up +0.63% and the French CAC 40 rose +0.71% helped by the stronger US picture as well as more optimism on a workable Brexit deal, particularly on the vexed issue of the price of a EU-UK divorce. At 4pm the pound was trading at 1.3398 against the dollar, up +0.26% while the pound was +0.23% higher against the euro at 1.1305.
At close of business tonight the FTSE 100 was 67 points down not helped by some miner stock pessimism – Randgold Resources slumped almost -6% – though Kingfisher and Next shares climbed strongly, up +4.2% and +4.4%.
- UK FTSE 100 7,393 -0.90%
- Dow 23,914.83 +0.33%
- S&P 500 2,626.08 -0.06%
- Nasdaq 6,834.66 -1.15%
- Nikkei 225 22,597.20 +0.49%
- DAX 13,147.58 +0.68%
- CAC 40 5,432.69 +0.76%
- Gold 1,290.60 -0.66%
- Oil WTI 57.77 -0.38%
Bitcoin surges past $11,000
Crypto-currency Bitcoin appeared to be heading towards $11,500 mid-afternoon (bear in mind Bitcoin’s euphoric performance is not a singular achievement with Ripple and Dash – other crypto-currencies – also making stellar gains).
Regulators continue to warn on its perils – the currency could be vulnerable to a highly destabilising cyberattack and there are many oversight issues and some accusations of drug cash being washed through it. But derivatives operator CME Group has helped legitimise bitcoin by plans to offer bitcoin futures by the end of the year.
The Japanese government is also looking at moves to accommodate the currency. In other words, bit by bit, bitcoin is looking less the anti-institutional upstart it was, even just back in midsummer. The new digital gold? The monetary equivalent of Uber? Bypassing normal laws of commerce is looking increasingly regular – and successful – behaviour.
UK housing stock hits £6tn, average house prices at £256,000
Latest Halifax research claims that the value of UK housing stock has hit £6tn for the first time. Average UK house prices are now valued at more than £256,900 compared to £187,310 in 2007. A +37% increase.
To put such giddy figures in context the Guardian estimates says £6tn is “nearly four times the size of the UK’s national debt, which is currently just over £1.8tn”.
“Even if every house in Britain was sold, the money raised would pay off less than half of the US’s national debt.” London takes £1.3tn of the £6tn figure while Northern Ireland takes the lowest at £92bn.
Breaking news: It's just emerged that Lloyds chairman Sir Victor Blank urged prime minister Gordon Brown to support an HBOS rescue deal at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. The ratio of foreign-owned UK shares has hit another record high.