Ster­ling climbs again on in­ter­est rate spec­u­la­tion


The Herald - - PUZZLES -

blue-chip stocks suf­fer when the pound rises be­cause their over­seas earn­ings are hit by a less favourable currency trans­la­tion.

It comes af­ter one of the Bank’s most dovish pol­i­cy­mak­ers said he may back an in­crease “as early as in the com­ing months”.

Gert­jan Vlieghe, an ex­ter­nal vot­ing mem­ber of the Bank’s Mon­e­tary Pol­icy Com­mit­tee (MPC), said he has been “struck” by a se­ries of devel­op­ments in the UK econ­omy – in­clud­ing high in­fla­tion – and pointed to the wider eco­nomic back­drop of “im­prov­ing global growth” over the past year.

Mr Vlieghe has yet to cast a vote in favour of a rise, hav­ing fallen among the ma­jor­ity when the nine-strong MPC voted 7-2 to keep in­ter­est rates on hold at record lows of 0.25 per cent on Thurs­day. If con­di­tions are met, he could end up join­ing more hawk­ish mem­bers in­clud­ing Ian McCaf­ferty and Michael Saunders in­crease.

But the MPC mem­ber said there were still grounds to hold steady on rates, par­tic­u­larly given “con­tin­ued uncer­tainty” over the UK’s fu­ture trad­ing re­la­tion­ship with the EU “and the rest of the world” in light of Brexit.

Euro­pean mar­kets also drifted lower yes­ter­day, with Ger­many’s Xe­tra Dax and the Cac 40 in France both slip­ping by 0.2 per cent. How­ever, the price of oil was 0.2 per cent higher at $55.57 a bar­rel fol­low­ing fore­casts of in­creased de­mand and re­ports US re­finer­ies kick­ing back into gear.

In UK stocks, pub group

was the big­gest riser on the se­cond tier thanks to ris­ing full-year sales and profit, while the pub chain’s Brexit-



for an back­ing chair­man took aim at EU “oli­garchs” in yet an­other rant. Rev­enue rose 4.1 per cent to £1.66 bil­lion in the year to July 30 as the group booked prof­its of £102.8 mil­lion, an in­crease of 27.6 per cent.

Like-for-like sales rose four per cent in the pe­riod, with

say­ing com­pa­ra­ble sales have in­creased by 6.1 per cent since Au­gust. Shares rosed more than 13 per cent, or 145p to 1,189p.

The big­gest ris­ers on the FTSE 100 In­dex were up 67p to 3,327.5p; to 158.2p;

up 48.5p to 4,741p; and up 51p to 5,045p. The big­gest fall­ers were down 317p to 4,783p; down 35.5p to 794p; 152p to 4,486p; 18p to 568.5p.


up 2.2p THE S&P 500 fin­ished over the 2,500 mark for the first time as it rose 0.18 per cent to hit 2,500.23, thanks to technology stocks bounc­ing back af­ter two days of de­clines.

The S&P 500 in­for­ma­tion technology sec­tor rose 0.21 per cent, pow­ered by an surge in chip­mak­ers, while

rose in its first gain since un­veil­ing new iPhones on Tues­day.

Ap­ple picked up $1.60, or 1 per cent, to $159.88 af­ter three days of de­clines. Nvidia jumped $10.71, or 6.3 per cent, to $180.11 and hard drive maker

gained $2.73, or 3.2 per cent, to $88.52.

The S&P 500 tech in­dex has been the best per­form­ing sec­tor this year, ris­ing more than 25 per cent, far out­pac­ing the broader S&P 500’s 11.5-per­cent growth.

Wall Street largely shrugged off re­ports show­ing an un­ex­pected drop in US re­tail sales last month and the first drop in in­dus­trial out­put since Jan­uary, both in part due to the im­pact of Hur­ri­cane Har­vey.

The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age ended up 0.29 per cent at 22,268.34, while the Nas­daq Com­pos­ite added 0.3 per cent to 6,448.47.

rose 1.66 per cent to a record high af­ter Canac­cord Ge­nu­ity raised its price tar­get for the stock.

Among the lag­gards was

which sank 7.38 per cent, on track for its worst day in more than four years af­ter dis­ap­point­ing fore­casts for its profit and cloud busi­ness.

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