Slightly down but not rattled. Markets were wary today on North Korean-Asian tensions but there were no wild swings, though gold continues to push up (1,339.30 mid afternoon). European stocks gained slightly in confidence from earlier losses with the French CAC 40 down 11 points at 5,111 at close to 4pm. The US market was closed for Labor Day. The Nikkei 225 was down -0.93% at 19,508.
Currency-wise the euro climbed against the dollar, up +0.28% to $1.1912 though the pound was down -0.04% against the greenback at $1.2956, not helped by some anti-interest rate rise sentiment in the business media. The euro was up +0.32% against the pound at 0.9193. All eyes meanwhile on Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting though there is little expectation of any policy change, in reality.
The FTSE 100 ended 27 points lower at 7,411.4 tonight with Fresnillo and Next taking the biggest share price climbs, up +2.91% and +2.25%. However airline operator IAG slipped -2.19%. Prudential was also down, -1.89% to 1788.50p.
- UK FTSE 100 7,411.4 -0.36%
- Dow 21,987.56 +0.18%
- S&P 500 2,476.55 +0.20%
- Nasdaq 6,453.33 +0.10%
- Nikkei 225 19,508.25 -0.93%
- DAX 12,125.64 -0.14%
- CAC 40 5,112,33 -0.21%
- Gold 1,339.30 +0.67%
- Oil WTI 47.47 +0.38%
Boeing claims victory over Airbus in new WTO ruling
A major boost for Boeing today with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) back-tracking on an earlier ruling that the US plane maker received unfair tax credit support for the development of its new 777x aircraft. The European Union had argued that Boeing’s position gave it an unfair advantage over Airbus, claiming illegal tax breaks from Washington State.
However the WTO has ruled in Boeing’s favour though the bickering has been going on for a decade. “The latest of the false claims Airbus and its government sponsors have made has now been rejected by the WTO,” said Boeing General Counsel J. Michael Luttig in a statement.
However Airbus claims the WTO ruling is not the end of the matter. “The ‘game’ is far from over,” said Airbus exec Rainer Ohler.
UK construction market takes August hit
There’s continued concern for the UK construction market. IHS Markit’s construction Purchasing Managers’ Index numbers – a key confidence reading – slipped to 51.1 in August compared to 51.9 in July. One cause for the slowdown was a lack of new orders to replace completed projects, claimed Markit survey respondents.
It’s a story though of two halves – a struggling commercial sector not helped by much Brexit uncertainty counterbalanced by a strong performance from UK housebuilders, defying expectations with another good month. Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon have all seen strong share price rises this year. Persimmon is up, for example, +40% at 2,607p.
“The sector was also offered some respite from the ongoing march of rising prices as input price inflation weakened,” said Duncan Brock of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply.
“This good fortune in prices," he added, "is unlikely to continue as suppliers scrabble to match the demand for an increasing number of materials in short supply and delivery times lengthened. Price rises will become inevitable if builders have to compete to get what they need.”
Breaking news: More than 1.8m VW vehicles are being recalled in China on fuel pump worries. The trial of three ex Tesco directors accused of fraud has been adjourned till 25 September.