Little impetus for the pound or euro on US Independence Day. The euro traded down -0.16% mid-afternoon at $1.1346 having opened at $1.1364. Sterling was down -0.03% at $1.2931.
The apparent flatness was chewed over by analysts at Rabobank. Why, then, had central bankers got the jitters? “Amidst no meaningful fresh macro data insights, central bankers from the Bank of China, Bank of England and ECB all started speaking in a screechy hawkish tone."
"What’s going on?," they added. "Are the other central banks merely following the Fed? Do they desperately want to build up some rates ammunition before the next downturn?” Either way, a slow news day though Worldpay shares (more of below) livened things up.
- UK FTSE 100 7,357.23 -0.27%
- Dow 21,479.27 +0.61%
- S&P 500 2,429.01 +0.23%
- Nasdaq 6,110.06 -0.49%
- Nikkei 225 20,032.35 -0.12%
- DAX 12,473.11 -0.02%
- CAC 40 5,192.44 -0.06%
- Gold 1,223.10 +0.32%
- Oil WTI 47.28 +0.47%
Worldpay shares soar on takeover fight
Worldpay shares were already up 30% YTD but the last 24 hours saw this surge 51.5% to 408p thanks to takeover interest from both Vantiv, a US payment operator, and JPMorgan Chase.
“There can be no certainty either that an offer will be made nor as to the terms of any offer, if made,” said Worldpay in a statement earlier. "A further announcement will be made if appropriate. This announcement has been made without the consent of Vantiv or JPMorgan.”
Online payment player Worldpay, now trading at around 30 times earnings, went public in 2015 under old City hand Sir Michael Rake. It was originally part of RBS, sold to private equity investors as part of the public bail-out deal with RBS. It now employs 5,000 but remains a business with a very strong UK focus.
Imagination talks continue
Meanwhile little progress at UK chip player Imagination Technologies following Apple’s shock decision to stop using the UK player as a key supplier. Imagination, releasing full year numbers this morning, said discussions with other parties were on-going.
“The management team have done a tremendous job over the last year, turning the business around, returning it to profitability and with a clear strategy for growth,” said chairman Peter Hill. “It is therefore highly regrettable that this progress has been so severely impacted by the stance taken by Apple.”
Group revenue from continuing operations climbed 19% to £145.2m (2016: £121.6m) claims Imagination. However its share price is now down more than 37% year-to-date at 156.75p.
This evening the FTSE 100 was down 20 points at 7,357.23 with Worldpay (see above) the stand-out performer. Randgold Resources and Persimmon were up 2.31% and 1.46% respectively.
Breaking news: Lord Adair Turner, ex chairman of the Low Pay Commission, says the minimum wage should be awarded to 'gig economy' workers.