A sharper edge to European Central Bank meeting minutes fired the euro forward today. The ECB note-taking from the 14 December made clear an end to quantitative easing is increasingly on the ECB to-do list. Approaching 4pm London time the euro was up almost +0.80% against the dollar at 1.2049 and more than +0.50% higher against sterling at 0.8897.
Needless to say a surging euro inflicted damage on European indices with the Dax seeing a -0.91% drop to 13,160 while in Paris the CAC 40 was down -0.44%.
US shares re-bounded from earlier falls today after China played down fears of a US debt purchase slow-down. Late afternoon London time Chevron and General Electric shares were both up more than +1.3% while the Dow Jones overall was up +0.30% at 25,447 points. The Nasdaq lifted +0.17% higher to 7,166 points.
Tonight the FTSE 100 traded higher again at 7,762.94 with Just Eat and easyJet rising 4.7% and +3.9%; M&S shares plunged more than -7% thanks to awful sales numbers released this morning though M&S' profit guidance remains intact for the moment.
- UK FTSE 100 7,762.94 +0.19%
- DAX 13,182.84 -0.75%
- CAC 40 5,487.32 -0.32%
- Euro Stoxx 600 397.01 -0.40%
- Dow 25,460.95 +0.36%
- S&P 500 2,754.17 +0.22%
- Nasdaq 7,168.21 +0.20%
- Nikkei 225 23,710.43 -0.33%
- Gold 1,321.70 +0.17%
- Oil WTI 64.40 +1.30%
Oil nears $70 a barrel
Oil neared $70 a barrel today as Brent crude lifted +0.66% to $69.66; WTI was up more than +1.25% to $64.37. The surge in the oil price is being driven by grim US winter weather and the continuation of OPEC supply cuts. Iranian tensions have also stirred the pot.
But a rising oil price brings its own problems for oil-rich nations, including the threat of upped shale production to combat it. Where does the balance lie? At $80 a barrel, possibly?
"You’re going to see a bunch of new crude supply coming on to the market this year from the US,” Michael Cohen, Barclays Head of Oil Markets Research, told Bloomberg. “So all in all, on a balanced basis, we don’t see the kind of shortage to bring us to $80 for a sustainable basis."
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts US crude oil production averaged 9.2m BPD for last year while earmarking 10m BPD this year. An +8.7% hike.
Farage suggests possible Yes to second referendum; Walmart hands out payrise
Earlier this afternoon ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage surprised just about everyone when he told Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff he could change his mind on a second referendum.
“What is for certain is that the Cleggs, the Blairs, the Adonises will never, ever, ever give up. They will go on whinging and whining and moaning all the way through this process.” He added: “So maybe, just maybe, I’m reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership.”
Over in the US Walmart said it would be handing its 1m US workers a pay rise thanks to the recent tax code overhaul from the Republicans, slashing the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Other major US companies including AT&T have also promised wage climbs.
Breaking news: Oil hits $70 a barrel – the first time for three years.