Grim US service sector data depressed the dollar today plus, at the edges, concern about US interest rate direction. At close to 4pm sterling was trading at $1.3058, up +0.21% while the euro was also up against the dollar at $1.1928, a +0.14% rise. However the euro was -0.07% down against sterling at 0.9135. A robust showing from the pound, despite the Brexit angst.
The US currency also came under pressure from the Canadian dollar after the Bank of Canada unexpectedly lifted its benchmark rate by +0.25%.
With the upcoming ECB monetary policy meeting tomorrow, euro sentiment is still strong, though any decisive policy move announcement looks unlikely. European stocks today held more or less firm, despite an unexpected fall in German industrial orders (factories saw a -0.7% drop in July compared with a +0.9% rise in June).
At the close of trading this evening the FTSE 100 was almost 19 points lower at 7,354.13 with Micro Focus Int and Next the largest climbers, up +6.16% and +2.51%. ITV was also up +2%. However housebuilder Barratt was down almost -5% at 595.50p as investors fretted about gross margins; G4S shares slipped -3%.
- UK FTSE 100 7,354.13 -0.25%
- Dow 21,815.36 +0.29%
- S&P 500 2,462.85 +0.19%
- Nasdaq 6,370.85 -0.08%
- Nikkei 225 19,357.97 -0.14%
- DAX 12,226.62 +0.84%
- CAC 40 5,106.45 +0.39%
- Gold 1,342.50 -0.15%
- Oil WTI 49.17 +1.03%
A close one for Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell today. Chairman since 2009 Hellawell survived a re-election vote thanks to 53% of independent investors getting behind him while more than 46% opposed his re-election.
Major investors Royal London Asset Management and Legal & General voted against 75-year-old Hellawell on governance concerns including zero hours contracts. But the overall non-independent vote count was the one that mattered in the end.
Moody's threat to downgrade US credit rating
Credit agency Moody’s Investor Services says the US AAA credit rating shouldn’t be taken for granted if the US messes with its debt ceiling. This debt ceiling limit could be breached by 29 September.
"In the unlikely event of an interest payment not being made as a consequence of the debt ceiling,” Moody’s said, “we would expect the default to be short-lived and to be cured with a recovery rate of 100%.” However the surrounding sentiment would invevitably be poor. Standard & Poor removed its AAA US rating in 2011.
Lastly it’s thought several hundred Asda jobs could go from its Leeds head office, Asda House. The Walmart-owned discount grocer saw like-for-like sales slide -5.7% last year. “Our sales performance, relative to the market, was behind our expectations,” Asda said at the start of August.
Breaking news: Reuters is reporting that the Government is asking for FTSE-100 support for its Brexit approach.