Stocks markets are lower today as dealers remain nervous about a possible trade war.
. The chatter is the US will reveal tariffs on $60 billion worth of imports, and it has shaken investor sentiment. Traders are worried President Trump might announce the levies before the trading week is over.
Shares in Reckitt Benckiser are higher today after the company dropped its bid to acquire the healthcare business of Pfizer. Reckitt Benckiser stated they were only interested in a portion of the healthcare unit, and it wasn’t possible to only acquire the section they wanted. Now the bid has been dropped, it will give Reckitt Benckiser time to focus on reorganising its own business.
Ted Baker shares are in the red this morning after the company posted results that failed to meet analysts’ forecasts. The clothing retailer revealed an 11.4% rise in revenue and a 12.3% jump in profit. The business is performing well in North America and Europe, but their outlook is cautious, and that sent the stock lower.
EUR/USD was nudged lower by the softer-than-expected manufacturing and services data from France and Germany. Not only did the growth rate of the sectors slowdown, the reports also missed economists’ expectations. This is further proof that the two largest economies in Europe are coming off the boil.
GBP/USD hit its highest level since early February on the back of this morning’s UK retail sales figures. Retail sales jumped by 0.8% in February on a month-on-month basis while economists were forecasting a reading of 0.4%. It is slightly worrying that the January reading was revised lower, from 0.1% to -0.2%.
At 12pm (UK time) the Bank of England will reveal their interest-rate decision, and the consensus is for rates and the stimulus package to remain unchanged. The statement will be closely watched as it may provide clues as to what the central bank will do in the near-term. Yesterday’s drop in unemployment and rise in wages increases the possibility of a rate hike in May.
We are expecting the Dow Jones to open down 116 points at 24,566 and we are calling the S&P 500 down 13 points at 2698.
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