More North Korean warmongering and a lack of US presidential Twitter restraint both helped global stocks turn south today: at 4pm the French CAC 40 was down almost -1.50% while the German Dax was 1% lower. The UK FTSE 100 was also substantially down on the nuclear sabre rattling, falling -0.60%.
As far as currencies go the pound held its own, up 0.03% at $1.2992 late afternoon while the euro was down -0.04% at $1.1745. However the dollar-yen pair sank more than 0.5% while the Swiss franc rose more than 1.15% against the dollar. Some flight-to-safety moves.
Ex chief IMF economist Ken Rogoff, now a Harvard economics professor, sounded off to the BBC earlier about the Asia-Pacific tensions: "A bigger risk, of course, is the White House in the US just doing something really irrational. That might sound hyperbolic, but we all hold our breath every day."
- UK FTSE 100 7,498 -0.59%
- Dow 22,028.73 -0.26%
- S&P 500 2,469.66 -0.21%
- Nasdaq 6,341.62 -0.45%
- Nikkei 225 19,738.71 -1.29%
- DAX 12,158.91 -1.06%
- CAC 40 5,142.83 -1.46%
- Gold 1,278.50 +1.26%
- Oil WTI 49.46 +0.63%
Tata edges towards £15bn British Steel Pensions deal
Some progress – hopefully – on the ongoing Tata Steel pension negotiations. Sky News has reported that the Indian steel maker will confirm a deal by the end of the week that will see the £15bn British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) being split from Tata after a new cash injection.
It’s thought Tata could pay in more than £500m into the BSPS which has more than 130,000 members. If this goes ahead it means that Tata will be free to pursue its merger with German rival Thyssenkrupp, a deal that has been in the making for more than a year.
Currently Tata Steel employs more than 6,000 people across Wales. The pensions regulator has made no comment on the news.
Petrol engine not dead – Mazda
Is Mazda spurning electric car technology? Not quite. It is building a new electric car plant in the US with Toyota. However the Japanese car maker says it has developed a far more efficient petrol engine using compression ignition technology. Mazda claims its new petrol engine will be up to 30% more efficient than current engines.
Mazda has tagged the new technology 'Skyactiv-X'. Air and petrol still burn together inside an engine cylinder, but the clever bit is that the mixture is ignited in different ways, dependent on engine demand. The thermal efficiency advantages are claimed to be considerable. So the internal combustion engine project remains alive, still.
Meanwhile Walt Disney claims it will start its own online streaming operation, directly taking the fight to key rivals Netflix and Amazon. This news follows a near 9% cut in quarterly profits yesterday.
Breaking news: The FSTE 100 ends 0.59% down at 7,498 with Fresnillio up almost 5%. However G4S shares fell almost 7.5% to 305.90p.