A rash of good and not-so-good UK retail Christmas results arrive this morning (more below). Overnight there was some concern for Asian sentiment: shares in Samsung Electronics touched a 16-week low amidst a background of tech sell-off across the region, broadly. Hong Kong-listed Tencent was heavily down; also Lenovo Group.
The weaker numbers – the Nikkei slipped -0.33% and the Asia Dow -0.28% – followed local currency gains plus some nervousness coming out of Wall Street last night: all main US indexes were down with the Nasdaq -0.14% lower at 7,153.
In the background to some leaking red US ink was rising US bond yields not to mention uncertainty about the North American Free Trade Agreement (a Trump announcement is expected). Quite a fragmented picture.
Overnight the pound was -0.17% lower buying 1.3490 US currency while the dollar lifted almost +0.5% against the yen, fetching 111.85 with the euro up +0.33% against the Japanese currency. Bitcoin slumped more than -8% to $13,587.50 (7.40am).
- UK FTSE 100 7,748.51 +0.23%
- DAX 13,281.34 -0.78%
- CAC 40 5,504.68 -0.35%
- Euro Stoxx 600 398.60 -0.38%
- Dow 25,369.13 -0.07%
- S&P 500 2,748.23 -0.11%
- Nasdaq 7,153.57 -0.14%
- Nikkei 225 23,710.43 -0.33%
- Gold 1,318.10 -0.09%
- Oil WTI 63.53 -0.06%
M&S sales down, Tesco sales up
M&S reported further falling sales for the third quarter this morning. While a -2.8% fall for clothing sales was not a complete shock, food sales – the one bright spot usually for M&S – was down -0.4%. In total, M&S sales slip -1.4%. Crucially though overall full-year guidance from M&S has not changed.
For food, “ongoing trading pressures continued in the lead up to Christmas as consumer spending and choices reflected tighter budgets,” said M&S in a statement. International revenues was also down, “reflecting the completion of the planned closure of owned stores in loss-making markets”.
Driving over to Tesco, much more Christmas cheer: the UK’s biggest grocer claims food sales soared +3.4% over the four-week Christmas sales period while for the last quarter like-for-like sales improved +2.3%.