FTSE heads for worst week in years after disastrous global services data and Brexit pound boost


3) London trader sues Citigroup for $112m: One of the City traders acquitted of rigging the $5.3 trillion a day currency markets is suing Citigroup for $112m (£90m), claiming the US bank “quite literally fabricated” a case against him. A complaint filed on behalf of Rohan Ramchandani in a US court on Wednesday claims the bank embarked on a “secret scheme” to try to “dirty up” his name.

4) The US has been given the green light by the World Trade Organization to impose tariffs on $7.5bn (£6.1bn) of EU goods. In what could spark a sharp escalation of hostilities between Washington and Brussels,levies on a wide range of EU exports– from aircraft to cheese – could be in place within days.

5) Facebook’s plan for a new global digital currency looks in jeopardy after reports that two major credit card companies may pull out. The social media giant had recruited 27 other firms to be founding members of the Libra Consortium, a group designed to protect the independence of its new coin, Libra, from Facebook itself.

What happened overnight

Asian stocks skidded to a one-month low on Thursday after the United States opened a new front in its trade dispute with Europe by imposing tariffs, adding to already-growing market fears about global growth.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.78pc. Japan’s Nikkei stock index fell 2.2pc, on course for its biggest daily decline in six months. Australian shares slumped to a five-week low.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 0.48pc by the lunch break.

US stock futures were up 0.25pc, but this did little to bolster sentiment after shares on Wall Street suffered their sharpest one-day decline in nearly six weeks on Wednesday, when the three major New York share indexes all lost more than 1.5pc.

Yields on two-year US Treasury yields fell as weakening data on manufacturing and the jobs market suggested the trade war with China has damaged the US economy.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s administration announced the United States will impose tariffs on $7.5bn of goods from the European Union.

Washington will enact 10pc tariffs on Airbus planes and 25pc duties on French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies and cheese from across the continent as punishment for illegal EU aircraft subsidies.

Coming up today

It has been an ugly time for Ted Baker lately. The retailer slipped out of the FTSE 250 last Monday, and shares are trading at about a third of where they stood just a couple of years ago after successive profit warnings and the sudden exit of Ray Kelvin, the founder and chief executive.

Recently appointed replacement chief Lindsay Page, who took over from Mr Kelvin, is trying to cut cost cuts while also expanding the company’s product lines. Thursday’s results will offer the first taste of whether she has been succeeding.

Full-year results: Macau Property Opportunities Fund

Interim results: ICG Enterprise, Ted Baker

Trading update: CMC Markets, Hyve Group

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