Poorer than expected US Nonfarm Payroll numbers saw the euro climb against the dollar to new annual highs – $1.273 at 4pm today – approaching 1.1300 levels. The pound slipped -0.05% to $1.2873.
Petter Lundvik, economist at Handelsbanken Capital Markets, said he still expected the US Fed to hike stateside interest rates by 0.25% in June and September, despite the weaker payroll data. “Another 0.50 percentage points this year would be exactly in line with the central bank’s forward guidance.”
Increased confidence from Japan saw the Nikkei soaring beyond 20,000, the highest point since midsummer 2015. Oil prices continued to retreat with WTI hitting under $47 at points earlier – more than a 2.75% decline.
Despite clipping – almost – 7,600 points earlier on Friday the FTSE 100 ended just three points up at 7,547.63. Randgold and Fresnillo saw 3.87% and 3.77% climbs. European shares also rallied with the Dax up strongly.
- UK FTSE 100 7,547.63 +0.05%
- Dow 21,168.38 +0.11%
- S&P 500 2,434.19 +0.17%
- Nasdaq 6,272.32 +0.41%
- Dax 12,828.57 +1.29%
- Cac 40 5,340.37 +0.41%
- Nikkei 225 20,177.28 +1.60%
- Gold 1,275.18 +0.64%
- Oil WTI 47.38 -2.03%
UK construction gears up
Better news about the UK economy emerged from the Markit/CIPS construction purchasing managers' index, surging from 53.1 to 56 (any result north of 50 is a positive number).
Much of May's uptick was from a new pipeline of projects and underlying demand for labour and material supply chains. However commercial development remained the weakest sub-category.
Away from the bullish headline figure some caution was expressed overall by Markit: "Despite the improvement in new work, construction firms noted that heightened economic uncertainty continued to act as a brake on client spending."
BA human error?
More on the mystery of last weekend's BA chaos. It has emerged that human error – a maintenance contractor – may have been behind the 75,000 passenger disruption.
Power may have been lost to two of BA's main data centres, consequently closing down much of their IT network. If true it means boss Willie Walsh was correct when he insisted IT failure was not to blame.
The owner of BA, IAG, has seen its share price rise almost 2% in the last week to 607.50p, despite the dreadful PR. On Monday IAG shares fell by as much as 4.2%. Meanwhile the BBC says says insurers have now clashed with BA on expenses liability.
Edinburgh overtakes London
Lastly, Zoopla has put Edinburgh and Croydon at the top of its most in-demand area list. Zoopla claims Croydon, Central London and Glasgow saw 104%, 77% and 67% more interest than average UK property listings overall.
"This new set of figures gives us valuable insight into which areas of the British property market are most in demand," said Zoopla. "It's interesting to see Edinburgh outranking London, which perhaps reflects a cooling in the property market for central London."
Garages were much in demand. However Preston was found to be the least popular search for a property, followed by Wigan, Warrington and Newport.