In the US, shock for retailer Macy’s: shares fell 17% as the retailer revealed an earnings slump with profits coming in at 24 cents a share compared to an estimated 35 cents. Other retailers, including J.C. Penney and Target report soon.
Shares values from a range of companies, including Macy's owner Bloomingdales and Sears, fell. Consumer spending remains key for US economic growth.
Over in Japan, some profit-taking today with the Nikkei 225 down 0.44% at 19,874.61. The yen was also up against a stronger yen vs dollar.
On home ground while Bank of England governor Mark Carney yesterday cut his economic growth prediction to 1.9% some think it could be lower. James Bevan of the CCLA thinks growth could come in at just 1%, he told the BBC.
- UK FTSE 100 7,386.63 +0.02%
- Dow 20,919.42 -0.11%
- S&P 500 2,394.44 -0.22%
- Nasdaq 6,115.96 -0.22%
- DAX 30 12,711.06 -0.36%
- CAC 40 5,383.42 -0.32%
- Gold 1,226.70 +0.20%
- Oil WTI 47.92 +0.17%
Sterling fell yesterday below the $1.29 level despite the Bank of England hinting that an interest rate rise could arrive sooner than thought.
Oil consensus increases
There is some optimism on oil as some expect OPEC to continue sticking to existing production quotes. Oil ended up almost 50 cents yesterday, the highest closing price in a week.
But while OPEC has managed to pull back on production quotas, output from Saudi Arabia increased in April. Some think Saudi production climbed by as much as 50,000 barrels a day.
Virtual reality operator Improbable has raised $500m from Japan’s Softbank (which last year bought ARM). The new cash injection still means that Improbable stays independent – a key objective for founders Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead.
Provident trading steady
This morning doorstop lender Provident Financial confirmed that trading performance for the first quarter of 2017 was consistent with market consensus.
Demand and customer confidence for home credit customer remained stable during the first quarter of the year says Provident. For its Vanquis Bank arm the annualised risk-adjusted margin is cut from 32.2% (December 2016) to under 32%, March 2017.
Regulation remains the biggest risk to group performance acknowledges the company; Provident says there has been no change since year-end numbers.
Deliveroo overhauls contracts
Meanwhile Deliveroo, under parliamentary pressure, has removed a clause from its self-employment contracts that stopped its 15,000 couriers challenging their status before an employment tribunal.
Freelance workers also do not have to wear Deliveroo-branded work clothes any more and are also able to work for other businesses.
“This is another petty attempt by Deliveroo to use armies of lawyers to insert clauses in our contracts that seek to strengthen their argument that we are independent contractors,” Maggie Dewhurst, from trade union IWGB told The Guardian.