The rise (and rise) of the single currency continues: earlier today the pound hit a three-year bottom against the single currency. A massing of Brexit uncertainty was simply uncontainable for a vulnerable-looking UK currency.
Mid afternoon one pound was worth 1.0833 euro. A -0.60% drop. Against the dollar the euro was +0.45% up.
New data from IHS Markit saw a headline eurozone manufacturing purchasing managers index figure climb to 57.4 this month compared to 56.6 this time last month. A much better reading than anticipated. However, going the other way, the services PMI numbers came in at 54.9 compared to 55.4 in July.
The FTSE 100 finished just +0.01% higher at 7,382.65 with share-shattered (yesterday) Provident Financial seeing a 12% gain. Miners Antofagasta and Rio Tinto saw 2% climbs. However marketing and PR giant WPP saw its shares thoroughly wallopped, down almost 11% after it revealed ad spend worries this morning.
- UK FTSE 100 7,382.65 +0.01%
- Dow 21,853.24 -0.22%
- S&P 500 2,447.31 -0.21%
- Nasdaq 6,282.03 -0.25%
- Nikkei 225 19,434.64 +0.26%
- DAX 12,160.71 -0.57%
- CAC 40 5,105.77 -0.51%
- Gold 1,293.60 +0.20%
- Oil WTI 47.84 +0.02
Whole Foods votes for $13.7bn Amazon tie-up
As expected Whole Foods shareholders have approved Amazon’s proposal to take control of the health food chain – for almost $14bn. It’s not expected the deal will get passed till the end of the year. There are still competition hurdles to jump across.
By any measure this is a massive deal and will cause huge anxiety across the grocery sector not to mention stand-alone food delivery services.
Amazon are buying Whole Foods at a 27% premium – $42 a share – over its original June share price. In total Amazon gets 460 bricks-and-mortar stores. There are nine Whole Foods stores in the UK.
Walmart shares dipped 6% earlier today. In the UK Tesco shares climbed 1.87% while Sainsbury’s shares were down -0.25%. Morrisons and M&S shares were up modestly, 1.61% and 1.16% respectively.
Mario Draghi praises QE action
Some European Central Bank news. Boss Mario Draghi was in Lindau, Germany today where he praised the success of quantitative easing (QE) –the printing of cheap money. The QE ECB policy is on-going with around €2tn expected to be injected by the end of 2017.
But with the publication of today’s broadly positive PMI numbers, there has to be an end in sight for the ‘financial heroin’, as some critics have tagged QE.
“QE,” said Draghi, “involved direct intervention by central banks in markets through large scale asset purchases to influence the yield curve beyond the very short term."
He went on: "A large body of empirical research has substantiated the success of these policies in supporting the economy and inflation, both in the euro area and in the United States."
Breaking news: Walmart and Google announce voice-enabled shopping. South Ayrshire Council confirms a £109,350 tax rebate for the £11m Donald Trump-controlled Turnberry resort.