Better US jobs and wages numbers gave the dollar some relief this morning. The US economy added 200,000 more jobs in January – 40,000 more jobs than were added in December – while wages accelerated at their fastest clip for eight years.
Additionally US unemployment remained at 4.1%. Responding, the dollar spot price soared +0.84% to 89.38 leaving the pound more than -1.05% down at 1.4113. The pound was knocked back -0.35% against the euro to 1.1365; the euro was -0.74% lower against the greenback.
An improved US mood also showed itself in an updated report from the University of Michigan: consumer confidence numbers in January slipped to 95.7, only 0.2 points below December's 95.9. Better than anticipated.
“Importantly,” said the report’s chief economist, Richard Curtin, “the motivating force behind purchase decisions has shifted from discounts on prices and interest rates to increased confidence in future job security and growth in wages as well as financial assets.”
All this positivity did nothing for stocks with the Dow Jones down more than -1.09% at 4pm London time. Exxon Mobil and Chevron saw -5.5% and -3.7% share price falls following fresh earnings disappointment despite some Trump tax code help. The FTSE 100 ended more than 45 points tonight with Glencore and Evraz recording -4% share price dives though Astra Zeneca shares surged more than +3%.
- UK FTSE 100 7,443.4 -0.63%
- DAX 12,809.22 -1.50%
- CAC 40 5,373.55 -1.49%
- Euro Stoxx 388.71 -1.21%
- Dow 25,920.98 -1.03%
- S&P 500 2,797.11 -0.89%
- Nasdaq 7,318.01 -0.92%
- Nikkei 225 23,274.53 -0.90%
- Gold 1,332.30 -1.16%
- Oil WTI 64.80 -1.49%
Bitcoin sinks to under $8,000
Earlier this afternoon Bitcoin was trading at $8,885 – meaning more than $100bn has been erased off its value in the last 24 hours. At lunchtime the crypto currency had headed under $8,000. Some of the fall is connected to US regulators probing the value of digital asset Tether, suspected, some claim, of artificially inflating Bitcoin’s value (though it's a highly convoluted story).
At the edges regulators and government finance departments are increasingly looking harder-nosed: South Korea has banned cryptocurrency exchanges and India is in the process of following suit.
It’s not just Bitcoin that’s falling. A swathe of other altcoins are weeping red ink as some jump back into mainstream currencies while other investors will be using the opportunity to top up at lower valuations.
Dell mulls new stock market return
Earlier computer maker Dell indciated that a stock market listing was a possibility. It’s unclear whether Dell would return to public ownership through a regular IPO or via software company VMare – which it owns – through a reverse merger. Dell walked away from the stock market in a private buy-in 2013 worth $24.4bn.
Breaking news: Vodafone says it is in talks with Liberty Global over its continental assets. "There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms, timing or form of any transaction," Vodafone said in a statement. Liberty is the owner of Virgin Media Group. Former US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen moves to the Brookings Institute think tank following Jerome Powell's appointment in her place at the Fed.