Sterling has tumbled -0.46% to $1.2798 (7am) under more UK election projection numbers. A new poll commissioned by the Times newspaper suggests the Conservatives could lose up to 20 seats with Labour taking an extra 30.
If accurate this means the Conservatives would not have an overall majority. The euro is also bearish at $1.1166, some distance from the $1.1200 threshold following more demand for the dollar overnight.
The US Dow finished 50 points down yesterday at 21,029.47 with Verizon, up 1.94%, the biggest gainer.
German retail sales and unemployment numbers are out shortly while Chicago PMI figures arrive at 2.30pm. UK mortgage approval data is out at 9.30am.
- UK FTSE 100 7,526.51 -0.28%
- Dow 21,029.47 -0.24%
- S&P 500 2,412.91 -0.12%
- Nasdaq 6,203.19 -0.11%
- DAX 12,598.68 -0.24%
- CAC 40 5,305.94 -0.50%
- Gold 1,263.60 -0.17%
- Oil WTI 49.25 -0.83%
FTSE 250 property and investment operator LondonMetric says net rental income is up 5% to £82m for the year to 31 March. However reported profits slip from £82.7m to £63m. The dividend climbs to 7.50p from 7.25p.
CEO Andrew Jones says retailers are losing marginal stores and investing in 'flagships', prioritising distribution and fulfilment ahead of their stores – which is why he is shifting the portfolio emphasis from retail to logistics.
“Logistics will soon represent more than 70% of our investments as our urban logistics portfolio grows further and our short cycle developments complete.
Consumer debt comeuppance?
More worry about consumer debt. The UK’s GfK consumer confidence index increased by two points compared to April, indicating better consumer sentiment.
“Despite life becoming more expensive with inflation hitting its highest level in four years,” says GfK’s Joe Staton, “and wages dropping in real terms for the first time in three years, stagnant living standards haven't yet significantly dented consumers' spirits.”
Partly that is because some supermarkets are not passing on the full sterling slump to consumers. But Staton also thinks the real ‘squeeze’ has yet to fully hit home. “When,” he said, “will we get our comeuppance and realise we have to pay the piper?
£10 minimum wage help
Lastly, Labour claims it would subsidise a higher £10 per hour minimum wage for smaller businesses by upping employment allowance support.
"I don't know any business owner who doesn't want to pay their staff well; this is one way of helping them achieve something they're keen on doing," Shadow Small Business Minister Bill Esterson told BBC Wake Up to Money earlier this morning.
Full-time workers on basic earnings would be see their income rise by £2,500 a year with younger 21-24-year olds likely to see a £4,500 pay cut climb. Labour argues the policy would affect those working in retail, care and hospitality sectors most.
Breaking news: The British Retail Consortium claims UK food prices have surged at their highest rate for three years, climbing 1.4% in May. Accountants KPMG claims Manchester United is now the most valuable footall club in Europe, worth £2.6bn.