Sterling continued to climb today, at one point breaching $1.30 to $1.3007. The euro also was up, pushing +0.35% higher to $1.1436. There was a strong response from European stocks with both the DAX and the CAC 40 taking sharp hits, down 1.47% and 1.7% respectively.
Also the FTSE 100, though not to the same extent. The Big Board was down 34 points at 7,353.78 with Micro Focus Int falling 3.87% and Fresnillo down 3.6%. Shire fell 3.21% while Burberry was down 3.17%. There were also some heavy falls for Informa, G4S and Unilever.
However, Sky (more of shortly) shares were up more than 3% while HSBC out-accelerated all, up 4.5%.
- UK FTSE 100 7,353.78 -0.46%
- Dow 21,414.06 -0.19%
- S&P 500 2,432.37 -0.34%
- Nasdaq 6,179.06 -0.86%
- Nikkei 225 20,220.30 +0.45%
- DAX 12,450.63 -1.47%
- CAC 40 5,163.29 -1.71%
- Gold 1,245.40 -0.30%
- Oil WTI 45.36 +1.36%
UK credit binge continues
More worry about UK consumer spending/bingeing. New numbers from the Bank of England suggests £1.7bn in credit card and loans were given to consumers in May. While credit card borrowing actually slowed, other credit advances increased, including car deals.
The total amount of unsecured credit surged 10.3% in the year to May. That increase contrasted though with more worry about a housing market slowdown: mortgage lending climbed just 2.9% to £1.33tn up to May.
The Bank of England is already forging ahead with plans to ensure banks bolster their finances – as much as £11.4bn in the next 18 months – as the amount of UK unsecured credit increases. Some economists have linked the increase in borrowing to slow wage growth, meaning more households are stretching themselves to the limit.
Murdoch stymied – for the moment
Good news for a democratic, balanced press. At least for a bit. 21st Century Fox’s attempted takeover of Sky is to be lobbed back to the Competition and Markets Authority. Were Murdoch to have got the go-ahead his operation would be the UK's largest provider of news and third largest TV source.
Plus multiple mitts across digital and radio... Sky shares surged earlier, up 3.14% to 987p. On a 12-month timeline Sky shares are up 16% but year-to-date they are down -0.5%. Murdoch’s original attempt to take full control of Sky was severely damaged by the ‘phone hacking scandal in 2011.
However the saga evolves, Murdoch faces competition from several new sources – Facebook, Apple and other outlets like Buzzfeed.
Breaking news: Boots Alliance steps back from plans to buy US rival Rite Aid.