Mar­kets quiet ahead of MPC rate de­ci­sion

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - BUSINESS -

Mar­kets were rel­a­tively quiet yes­ter­day as traders awaited the up­com­ing in­ter­est rate de­ci­sion from the Bank of Eng­land.

The FTSE 100 closed the ses­sion 0.46 points lower, re­main­ing at the 7,700 mark it reached by the end of last week.

On Thurs­day, the Bank of Eng­land will an­nounce its lat­est in­ter­est rate de­ci­sion, with an­a­lysts widely ex­pect­ing the Mon­e­tary Pol­icy Com­mit­tee to raise the bench­mark rate to 0.75%.

In cur­ren­cies mar­kets, ster­ling was up 0.3% against the dol­lar at 1.314, and was up 0.07% against the euro at 1.122 in late af­ter­noon.

Oil prices rose amid fears about sup­ply lev­els, with planned sanc­tions for Iran loom­ing over the mar­ket.

In af­ter­noon trad­ing, Brent crude was up 0.8% at 74.917.

Shares in His­cox jumped by 7% or 107p to 1,580p when the in­sur­ance firm un­veiled a rise in prof­its, hav­ing nav­i­gated eye­wa­ter­ing costs on the back of mul­ti­ple nat­u­ral disas­ters in 2017.

For the six months ended June 30, His­cox’s profit be­fore tax was $163.6 mil­lion (£124.8m), up 27% year-on-year from $129.1m (£98.5m).

The other big­gest risers were Voda­fone Group up 6.5p to 186.5p, St James’s Place up 28p to 1,216.5p and Smur­fit Kappa Group up 48p to 3,124p.

The big­gest fall­ers were Sage Group down 33.2p to 612.8p, Pear­son down 27.4p to 930p, Scot­tish Mort­gage In­vest­ment Trust down 14p to 535p and Tay­lor Wim­pey down 3.85p to 172.5p.

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