Asian stocks continued to rise overnight – better earnings power from Japanese business saw the Nikkei hit 20,951, up +0.34% while Singapore and Sensex indexes climbed +0.74% and +0.42% – helped by strong US stocks sentiment yesterday. Better mood music from the US Federal Reserve last night helped row things along.
The new US Fed minutes showed a push to hike rates again in 2017. “Many participants,” it said, “thought that another increase in the target range later this year was likely to be warranted if the medium-term outlook remained broadly unchanged.”
However stubbornly low inflation continues to irk the Fed. There’s also continued tension between higher rates and Donald Trump’s wish for a low-rate ‘growth’ environment. Either way, the US minutes were a reasonable health reading (though the massive amassing of central bank assets remains troubling which, in turn, has distorted many asset prices).
The dollar spot slipped -0.15% overnight to 92.83 from an opening 92.98; a little after 7am the euro was up +0.16% to $1.1875 while the pound slipped under $1.32 to $1.3193, down -0.06%. New North Korean tensions have pushed gold higher, up +0.67%.
- UK FTSE 100 7,533.81 -0.06%
- Dow 22,872.89 +0.18%
- S&P 500 2,555.24 +0.18%
- Nasdaq 6,603.55 +0.25%
- Nikkei 225 20,974.35 +0.45%
- DAX 12,970.68 +0.17%
- CAC 40 5,362.41 -0.02%
- Gold 1,297.50 +0.67%
- Oil WTI 50.97 -0.64%
Sky profits surge to £606m but key shareholder vote looms
A rash of company results today including Sky and WH Smith. First, Sky. For the last quarter to 30 September Sky reports a +15% profits climb to £606m adding more than 150,000 customers. There’s a +5% hike in sales overall to £3.3bn.
Sky claims it is now past the 60m subscription milestone. Pay-as-you-go sports and entertainment grew +12% to 9.6m it claims. “Despite the uncertainty in the broader consumer environment, we remain on track with our plans and enter the busy Q2 trading period focused on delivering our clear strategy for growth."