More US dollar selling today as stateside consumer price index (CPI) inflation and retail sales fell under the microscope and failed to impress. Consumer prices, including most goods and services, were unable to muster an expected 0.1% advance. They rose (seasonally adjusted) in total to 1.6%.
More profoundly, lacklustre inflation means more pressure on the US Fed to resist calls for more interest rate rises. All this negative news fed the pound and euro: the pound surged to $1.3076, up +1.10% at close to 4pm with the euro up 0.41% at $1.1442.
The FTSE 100 closed down almost 50 points lower at 7,378.39 with Barratt Developments and Primark owner ABF taking the biggest beatings, down 2.58% and 2.20% respectively. Anglo American was the FTSE's biggest climber, up 1.92%.
WTI crude was up 0.69% at $46.4 while gold edged up +0.88% to $1,227.13.
- UK FTSE 100 7,378.39 -0.47%
- Dow 21,570.88 +0.18%
- S&P 500 2,451.78 +0.35%
- Nasdaq 6,286.77 +0.19%
- Nikkei 225 20,118.86 +0.09%
- DAX 12,610.09 -0.24%
- CAC 40 5,231.64 -0.07%
- Gold 1,228.30 +0.90%
- Oil WTI 46.58 +1.09%
EasyJet picks Vienna to stay in the air
EasyJet says it has picked Vienna as its new European operations base. The move is designed to protect it from Brexit turbulence – an insurance policy of sorts – though it’s highly likely the bulk of easyJet’s planes will remain UK-based. Just 100 new jobs will be created by the Vienna switch; no UK jobs are to go – so far.
The Vienna move appears needed: without an Austrian permit flying to and from other EU countries would be difficult. It’s still unknown how flights will be handled between Europe and the UK longer term with no aviation agreement in sight.
The airline will now become a pan-European airline group “with three airlines based in Austria, Switzerland and the UK,” easyJet said earlier. “All of these will be owned by easyJet plc which itself will be EU owned and controlled, listed on the London Stock Exchange and based in the UK.”
Barclays lays ground for Dublin move
Another Brexit-related news story: Barclays is talking to Dublin about upping its presence in the city as the UK prepares to decamp from the EU trading bloc. Up to 150 new jobs could be created.
“Barclays Bank Ireland, which has a banking licence and which we have operated for almost 40 years, provides a natural base and we are engaging with our regulators in discussions to extend its activities,” said Barclays earlier. Talks between Barclays boss Jes Staley and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar were conducted earlier in the week.
UK train punctuality still miserable a decade on
Meanwhile Which? has found that complaints from train passengers are still being handled as poorly as they were a decade ago. The Consumers' Assocation claims train punctuality has not improved with satisfaction slumping five percentage points to 72%, a 10-year low.
“The Government’s election manifesto," said Alex Hayman, Which? MD of Public Markets, "made strong promises to help rail passengers, who deserve much better when rail services fail to deliver. That is why we need to see the powers and duties of the regulator strengthened, with the Government swiftly pressing forward on its plans to introduce a rail ombudsman."
Breaking news: HICL Infrastructure and National Pension Service of the Republic of Korea are taking 35% and 30% stakes in the UK's HS1 rail link from two Canadian pension operators.