Sterling gave up some overnight gains this morning to fall -0.35% to $1.3236 by 4pm. This was thanks to a more confident US dollar despite better UK labour numbers. Some of the US dollar uplift was premised on potential US tax reform momentum; the US dollar climb also exerted pressure on the euro, down -0.41% to $1.1917.
UK jobs growth – new numbers from the ONS landed at 9.30am – picked up speed in the quarter to July with unemployment dipping to 4.3%. The last time unemployment was this low was the 1970s.
The ostensibly positive UK jobs report earlier saw earnings rise +2.1% in the three months to July. But factor in the higher +2.6% rate of inflation and the earnings picture still means a pay cut for most. Much of the better employment numbers is supported by more self-employment where wage inflation remains extremely fragile.
The FTSE 100 ended tonight 13 points down at 7,387 with miners Antofagasta and Fresnillo taking -3.7% and -3.4% falls. The biggest riser was Provident Financial, up +1.3%.
- UK FTSE 100 7,387.79 -0.17%
- Dow 22,121.59 +0.02%
- S&P 500 2,496.43 -0.01%
- Nasdaq 6,450.15 -0.06%
- Nikkei 225 19,865.82 +0.45%
- DAX 12,554.50 +0.24%
- CAC 40 5,222.08 +0.25%
- Gold 1,328.20 -0.35%
- Oil WTI 48.72 +1.06%
easyJet reveals long-haul ambitions – Gatwick hub is key
Earlier today easyJet revealed a new global connections service with WestJet and Norwegian – as long as the flight goes through Gatwick Airport. The move means easyJet customers can use its website to book flights to non-easyJet destinations including south and north American destinations, plus Singapore.
In other words, good for easyJet’s long-haul ambitions. easyJet says it’s in discussions with other airlines to sign up to the new system, including Middle Eastern players.
“Around 70 million passengers,” says boss Carolyn McCall, “flying through an easyJet airport each year are connecting on to other flights, mainly long-haul, and it is this market segment that worldwide by easyJet will open up for us.” easyJet shares were up more than +1% on the news to 1,206p.
New Apple iPhone X divides opinion
Reactions to Apple’s new iPhone X have now come in and the verdict is mixed – a lack of innovation say some while other industry commentators were more positive: “The X is the best iPhone, no questions, and it’s quickly jumped to the top of the best phones, period. Yeah, it’s going to cost you, but you already knew that,” said Techcrunch.
A $1,000 iPhone could add as much as 6% to Apple's 2018 earnings per share Bloomberg thinks. “But that depends on the iPhone X being a hit, and there's more competition from lower-cost Chinese competitors such as Huawei and Xiaomi, which timed the introduction of their new phones around Apple's launch to attract customers who may be deterred by the iPhone X's price.”
That price is £999 for the basic iPhone X 64GB version and £1,149 for the 256GB version. Very serious money. Apple has priced the new iPhone the same in dollars as it is in pounds – another Brexit-induced price rise given sterling’s value crash.
Breaking news: Sky boss Jeremy Darroch's salary soared to £16.3m following a shares bonus last year, the BBC reports.