The euro and pound came under pressure in trading today falling -0.75% and -0.46% to $1.1765 and $1.3416. The reasons were multiple: Bank of England Monetary Policy member David Blanchflower expressed doubt on the need for a rate rise.
More positive economy noises emerged from the US, pushing the dollar higher. On top of this Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen is due to speak on inflation at the National Association for Business Economics today. Yellen will not veer off the monetary policy beaten track but the Q&A session may unwinkle clues to possible future direction.
Back to things currency-wise: the pound is at a 10-week high against the euro (0.8766). A +0.72% rise for sterling. However the pound still remains vulnerable on the painfully slow progress of Brexit talks.
European Council President Donald Tusk was downbeat today, claiming PM May has not done enough: “The two sides our working and we will work hard at it. But if you ask me and if today member states ask me, I would say there is no sufficient progress yet. But we will work on it."
- UK FTSE 100 7,285 -0.21%
- Dow 22,349.59 -0.04%
- S&P 500 2,499.95 +0.13%
- Nasdaq 6,388.44 +0.28%
- Nikkei 225 20,337.48 +0.18%
- DAX 12,605.69 +0.09%
- CAC 40 5,266.29 -0.02%
- Gold 1,304.50 -0.53%
- Oil WTI 51.72 -0.94%
Corbyn airs run on pound
Talking of the pound, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said earlier that he and chancellor John McDonnell are looking at possible “run on the pound” situations should Labour be elected. “John is making the point,” he told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, “that you've got to look at all these things and all these scenarios.”
The worry of capital flight is a perennial worry for Labour. "People want to know we are ready and they want to know we have got a response to everything that could happen. Because if we can demonstrate that, that will calm things down."
Lloyds shifts 1,000 staff onto Diligenta: Equifax boss quits
Earlier Lloyds confirmed it was shifting up to 1,000 Scottish Widows staff in its insurance arm to outsourcer TCS Diligenta. The boss of Lloyds, António Horta-Osório, is intent on cost-cutting. His decision – most of the staff affected are Edinburgh or Bristol based – took immediate union criticism.
“The decision,” said Unite, “to simply sell off the workforce will come as a shock to staff at the bank. Unite is calling on Lloyds to reconsider this shameful deal and do the right thing by its staff who have worked hard to ensure the business is the success it is today.”
In the US Equifax boss Richard Smith says he will quit. The move was more or less inevitable: Smith held sway when the massive credit agency was hacked during the summer. The personal data of half the population of the US – 143m – was compromised. Some British consumers were also affected. Equifax shares were down -1% on the news at $103.95.
“The cybersecurity incident,” Smith said, “has affected millions of consumers, and I have been completely dedicated to making this right. At this critical juncture, I believe it is in the best interests of the company to have new leadership to move the company forward."
Breaking news: The FTSE 100 closed down 15 points to 7,285 with NMC Health and Carnival taking +2.7% share price climbs; Shire and WPP saw -2.3% and -1.7% drops.