Still-reasonable Markit PMI numbers slightly hit the dollar earlier. The closely-watched US manufacturing numbers came in at 53.0 for June compared to May’s 53.6 figure. A number below 50 is a contraction so the US data is still positive if underwhelming.
Robust PMI eurozone figures also emerged earlier however France’s Emmanuel Macron still has to push through substantial labour reforms. Expect more change.
The slew of mainly good numbers saw sterling pick up +0.48% to $1.2738 with the euro up 0.45% to $1.1200 by 4pm London time. In the US the Dow has opened modestly down while London's FTSE 100 closed at 7,431.77, down -0.10%. However the FTSE 250 showed more resilience, up 0.14% at 19,685.09 with Man Group shares up 4.4% at 150.50p.
- UK FTSE 100 7,431.77
- Dow 21,411.57 +0.07%
- S&P 500 2,439.56 +0.21%
- Nasdaq 6,251.82 +0.25%
- Nikkei 225 20,132.67 +0.11%
- DAX 12,732.32 -0.49%
- CAC 40 5,267.56 -0.28%
- Gold 1,257.00 +0.61%
- Oil WTI 43.01 +0.63%
US new home sales surge
Solid sales of new US homes are in: for 2017 271,000 homes have been sold, up 11%, with a median price of $345,000. That compares with $310,200 in April 2016. First time buyers accounted for a third of all sales in May.
The US housing market is being boosted by better job growth prospects while mortgage rates continue to be low by long-term historical standards (and despite a recent rate rise). Demand is strong but the costs of raw materials are rising. Wage growth too, for so long highly stagnant, is at last showing signs of life.
CMA moves to clamp down on online gambling promises
Signs of life also from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA says it’s tightening up on some online gambling operators. The CMA believes people aren’t getting the deal they expect from sign-up promotions, and operators are unfairly holding on to people’s money, they claim.
“Customers might have to play hundreds of times before they are allowed to withdraw any money, so they don’t have the choice to quit while they’re ahead and walk away with their winnings when they want to.”
The CMA started their investigation into gambling compliance and consumer protection law towards the end of last year. “We know online gambling is always going to be risky, but firms must also play fair,” says Nisha Arora, CMA director for consumer enforcement.
Shares ended a little lower. FTSE 100 player ITV saw the biggest rise, up 3.34%. There was a 2.88% gain for Fresnillo plus a 2.59% climb for Ashtead Group. There were slides though for Smurfit Kappa Group, down 2.73% and Shire, slipping 2.15%.
Breaking news: Tesco says it's hiking pay to £8.42 an hour by November 2018. Aldi currently pay staff £8.53 an hour.