US inflation frustration saw the dollar slip earlier today. Underlying US consumer inflation slowed last month partly on widespread retail clothes price-cutting. Although the headline US inflation figure landed at +0.4% – no surprise there – the core US CPI +0.1% rise was lower than the +0.2% predicted.
Core CPI is important to the likes of the US central bank, the Fed (which announces a likely rate hike tonight, 7pm – watch for words about tax cut growth and the longer term rate outlook). That’s because core CPI is a barometer of more stable price inputs, stripping out rather more volatile elements like food and energy costs.
All this helped the pound +0.39% higher (close to 4pm) against the greenback at 1.3371; against the euro the pound was +0.26% higher at 1.1371.
Newcastle football team owner Mike Ashley could be close to a deal to sell the club. Earlier this afternoon BBC Newcastle reported that British businesswoman Amanda Staveley of Staveley PCP Capital Partners was close to putting together a £300m offer.
The FTSE 100 closed tonight four points lower at 7,496.51 with Hargreaves Lansdown shares up more than +4% and Glencore up +2%. However rental outfitter Ashtead Group shares fell more than -5% and Centrica was down more than -3.5%.
- UK FTSE 100 7,496 -0.05%
- DAX 13,151.99 -0.24%
- CAC 40 5,400.08 -0.50%
- Dow 24,595.20 +0.37%
- S&P 500 2,670.01 +0.21%
- Nasdaq 6,884.66 +0.32%
- Nikkei 225 22,758.07 -0.47%
- Gold 1,246.80 +0.42%
- Oil 57.25 +0.21%
Alabama win unlikely to derail Trump tax project
Despite Donald Trump losing a vital election state, Alabama, to Democrat candidate Doug Jones – a 49.9% win over a 48.4% vote for evangelical Roy Moore – the Dow Jones continued to spur forward today. Jones’ stunning victory may mean some trickiness for Trump, specifically passing his tax legislation, a major plank of his election manifesto.
So it is a race against time for Congress to get the bill passed before Jones is sworn in, which could take some time due to ballot checking & re-checking. Key Republican Senator Bob Corker has made his unease clear about Trump’s proposed tax changes.
"What I have said all along is that I am troubled by tax breaks for the wealthy, which seem to be, in this bill, overloaded," he told reporters recently. "I'm troubled by what appears to be, ultimately, tax increases or no tax cuts for the middle class."
The changes Trump is pushing through are huge – mammoth, in fact. On balance, it looks as if they will probably get through, just. Hence much of the stock exuberance. But Trump is keenly aware of the risks out there.
“The last thing we need in Alabama and the U.S. Senate,” Trump tweeted in late November,” is a Schumer/Pelosi puppet who is WEAK on Crime, WEAK on the Border, Bad for our Military and our great Vets, Bad for our 2nd Amendment, AND WANTS TO RAISES TAXES TO THE SKY. Jones would be a disaster!"
Uber Sheffield licence reinstated
Meanwhile Uber’s Sheffield licence suspension has been lifted. Uber’s licence was originally withdrawn on 29 November after Sheffield City Council pressed the company for more information over its taxi app. The Council heard nothing back.
However discussions between both sides has now seen Uber’s licence re-instated after “productive” discussions.
“The new application, made by Uber in October, to operate private hire cars in Sheffield is being considered and a decision will be made in early 2018,” the Council said earlier. “We look forward,” responded Uber, “to continuing to serve tens of thousands of riders and drivers in Sheffield”.