Despite good US June housing build starts – the highest seen since February – the US dollar was still on the back foot with the euro-dollar pair at $1.1533 at close to 4pm today. The US housing numbers are an established weathervane of consumer confidence.
President Trump’s planned destruction of Obamacare, currently thwarted, continues to cause investor unease about the long-term success of the US presidency, reining in the greenback.
In the UK much of the afternoon headlines were taken up by changes to state pension entitlement for those born between 1970-1978 (more below) who see an extra year added to the state pension claim threshold. Meanwhile the much anticipated ECB monetary policy decision arrives tomorrow. UK retail sales also emerge.
The FTSE 100 closed up 40 points tonight at 7,430.91 with Sage Group up 2.68% and Barratt Developments up 2.44%. Royal Mail shares slipped 2.75%; Paddy Power Betfair and Kingfisher also saw chunky losses.
- UK FTSE 100 7,430.91 +0.55%
- Dow 21,595.83 +0.09%
- S&P 500 2,466.75 +0.25%
- Nasdaq 6,368.54 +0.38%
- Nikkei 225 20,020.86 +0.10%
- DAX 12,448.90 +0.15%
- CAC 40 5,212.46 +0.76%
- Gold 1,240.70 -0.10%
- Oil WTI 46.98 +1.34%
GSK flogs night time drink brand Horlicks
Earlier GlaxosmithKline said it was selling its Horlicks brand with the loss of more than 300 jobs in Slough. However GSK broke the news with an investment manufacturing update, putting £140m into HIV respiratory medicine technology produced in the UK.
“Between now and 2020, the Company plans to invest more than £140million at its Ware, Hertfordshire, Barnard Castle, Co Durham and Montrose, Scotland sites…This new investment is in addition to the £275million announced last year.” GSK’s share price at 1,613.50p is 3.3% up year-to-date but -2.5% down on the year overall.
Tories kick pension reform 'down the road'
The government’s state pension bombshell earlier for those born between 1970 and 1978 means anyone aged under 47 will have to wait till at least 68 before claiming their state pension. This change could affect an estimated 5.8m people.
But pensions analyst Tom McPhail at Hargreaves Lansdown said that because the Government will not legislate for this until 2023 at the earliest “they have essentially kicked the can down the road for a future Government to deal with."
He added: "Importantly there is acknowledgement of the knock on impact to those caring for relatives with further plans to follow in due course promised.”
Breaking news: B&Q says it will compensate customers who bought Valspar paint after complaints. Profits at US bank Morgan Stanley are up 11% year-on-year for the second quarter, hitting $1.8bn. Ex Burberry exec Paul Price moves to Arcadia's Topshop.