There was no clear answer from the US Federal Reserve on the direction of US interest rates last night. The release of the latest Fed minutes showed more uncertainty on slimming the balance sheet but a tad more optimism. So forward timing, not helped by hesitant wage growth and inflation, remains difficult to gauge and read. Overall, more tighening rather than less.
Without any other near meaningful news the US dollar was broadly flat as markets absorbed the Fed’s Open Market Committee meeting detail. At 7am the euro was down -0.04% at $1.1338 while the pound was up +0.21% at $1.2944.
Today, US balance of trade figures arrive lunchtime followed by ISM non-manufacturing data. Also more detail from the ECB on its monetary policy June meeting. Think quantitative easing and other issues.
- UK FTSE 100 7,367.60 +0.14%
- Dow 21,478.17 -0.01%
- S&P 500 2,432.54 +0.15%
- Nasdaq 6,150.86 +0.67%
- Nikkei 225 19,974.80 -0.54%
- DAX 12,453.68 +0.13%
- CAC 40 5,180.10 +0.10%
- Gold 1,225.40 +0.30%
- Oil WTI 45.46 +0.73%
ABF benefits from sterling drop
We start with something sweet to kick off: Associated British Foods. The owner of Tate & Lyle sugar (plus Twinings, Ryvita and Allinson bread not to mention retailer Primark) says currency gusts helped group revenues climb 20% to 24 June for the last quarter.
The underlying operating performance of the group for the third quarter was also ahead of forecasts thanks to stronger profits from Primark “which has marginally improved our group outlook for the full year”.
At actual exchange rates Primark sales continue to benefit from sterling weakness and are 21% ahead, year to date says ABF. ABF shares are up 6.95% overall on the year and 6.45% year-to-date.
More cyber protection needed for Durex maker
We move onto Reckitt Benckiser and an update on the recent cyber-attack that destabilised many. Normal trading is almost back though Reckitt says some work with its IT partners is ongoing.