Powered by higher fuel and clothes prices UK inflation accelerated to +2.9% in August compared to +2.6% in July. The Office of National Statistics news lit a fire under sterling as higher inflation means more chance of a rate rise from the Bank of England.
At 4pm the pound was at $1.3267, up almost +0.80%. Against the euro the pound was up +0.73% with the euro buying 90p compare to more than 92p at the end of August.
From the US comes better jobs numbers: the Labor Department claims new openings were at 6.17m for July compared to 6.12m in June. However within the positive numbers sit some severe skills shortages. Wall Street opened a smidge higher earlier though McDonalds shares were taking a beating, down -3.4%, after hitting record highs.
Apple shares were trading at $161 earlier, slightly up. Intense speculation remains over the launch of iPhone 8 tonight with reports of a $1,000 price tag for some models. iPhone sales are crucial for Apple though worry remains how much change will really be unleashed, tech improvements being increasingly incremental.
The UK inflation news did little for the FTSE 100 down seven points to 7,406 with Randgold and Fresnillo seeing -3% and -2% falls. However Ashtead Group shares were up almost +5%.
- UK FTSE 100 7,406 -0.10%
- Dow 22,087.34 +0.14%
- S&P 500 2,490.57 +0.10%
- Nasdaq 6,431.35 -0.01%
- Nikkei 225 19,776.62 +1.18%
- DAX 12,524.68 +0.40%
- CAC 40 5,208.13 +0.61%
- Gold 1,332.20 -0.26%
- Oil WTI 48.19 +0.25%
Bradley refers Sky sale to Competition and Markets Authority
Disappointment for Rupert Murdoch: culture secretary Karen Bradley is to instruct the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to review 21st Century Fox's £11.7bn bid for the rest of Sky it does not own (a 61% chunk).
The decision is a surprisingly tough one. Bradley now moves away from an Ofcom verdict that rested on concern about public life dominance if the Murdoch family were to wholly own Sky. Ofcom didn’t push towards a broadcasting standards investigation.
However Bradley has been under pressure from several quarters including the threat of a judicial review. The news hit Sky shares earlier, tanking as much as -4% initially. “I have,” Bradley said, “outstanding non-fanciful concerns…and I am of the view that they should be further considered by the CMA.”
Mass sick-out for Air Berlin
A bad day for Air Berlin with many flights cancelled following an exceptional number of pilots calling in sick. The move undermines Air Berlin’s attempts to find new investors to put together a rescue bid for Germany’s second-largest airline operator.
More than 100 flights were cancelled. It looks increasingly likely that Lufthansa will be the biggest gainer from the break up of Air Berlin. A result is anticipated before the German election on 24 September.
"No company could possibly be seen in a worse light than Air Berlin today,” chief operations officer Oliver Iffert reportedly said earlier. "We must return to stable operations. That is crucial in order to bring talks with investors to a successful conclusion."
Breaking news: The FCA warns that Bitcoin investors could lose their money – concern increases over crypto-currency schemes including those promoted by some celebrities.