Sterling was given a push down earlier after inconclusive, non-remarks by Bank of England deputy Ben Broadbent. Markets had been expecting some of substance viz interest rates and their future direction. They got something rather more ambivalent – near silence on things monetary, though some Brexit discussion surfaced.
A seesaw for the pound and euro played out with the euro up 0.22% to $1.1423 at 4pm while the pound was -0.23% down at $1.2844. The balancing act is played out, note, on a 12-month basis (euro up 3.28%, pound down -2.99%).
Meanwhile new trade data from the US indicates the US labour market may be weaker than thought, despite more than 220,000 jobs being recently added. Fewer job openings were offered in May, down 5% to 5.7m, though hiring in professional services still looks robust.
Markets remain composed with gold on the defensive at $1.210. WTI oil was up more than 1% however at $44.84.
- UK FTSE 100 7,329.76 -0.55%
- DOW 21,430.14 +0.10%
- S&P 500 2,426.76 +-0.03%
- NASDAQ 6,191.30 +0.24%
- NIKKEI 225 20,195.48 +0.57%
- DAX 12,485.67 +0.32%
- CAC 40 5,159.87 -0.12%
- GOLD 1,208.00 -0.44%
- OIL WTI 44.84 +1.01%
Gig economy players face NI hit
Interviewed by the BBC earlier Matthew Taylor, who is driving through a review of gig economy players, appears to be urging a full range of benefits including NI hikes for ‘gig’ firms.
Head of the Royal Society of Arts, Taylor wants firms to pay their full whack – provided they have a “controlling and supervisory” relationship. Taylor does not mention names – think Uber, Deliveroo, etc – but claims that for tax purposes, any worker subject to ‘control’ loses their effective ‘self employment’ role.
“So it doesn't really matter if you're an employee or self-employed - if I pay for your labour,” he told Kamal Ahmed, “I should pay a similar amount of tax associated with the labour.”
Brexit bill – “go whistle” – Boris Johnson
More antagonoism on Brexit. Boris Johnson today said the Brexit divorce bill was “extortionate” and that the EU was advised to “go whistle”. Adding to the unease, Johnson reportedly said there was no plan for no deal, in contrast to Prime Minister Theresa May who has indicated a possible No Deal, should it come to it.
“I think that the sums that I have seen that they propose to demand from this country seem to me,” said Johnson in the Commons this afternoon, “to be extortionate and I think ‘to go whistle’ is an entirely appropriate expression.”
The FTSE 100 closed down 40 points at 7,329.76 with Pearson and M&S taking the largest hits, down -5.14% and 4.69%. The news this morning that Pearson was selling off a 47% chunk of its Penguin Random House stake has implications for its dividend; Pearson investors responded. A sharp jolt for Primark owner ABF also, down -4.08%. Glencore and Anglo American were up 2.14% and 1.54%.
Breaking news: Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary says a lack of Brexit clarity could mean no flights between the UK and Europe if an aviation deal is not cleared by September 2018.