Nicholas Hyett, Equity Analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:
The mixed messages about the state of the UK construction market continue, with SIG down 20% after announcing a 1.1% fall in like for like sales in the UK and Ireland. The drop is being attributed to a slowdown in demand in the commercial and industrial rather than residential property (which accounts for 43% of group revenue).
Most of the market has shrugged off Donald Trump’s imminent move to the White House. Asset managers Aberdeen and Ashmore however, are down 5.3% and 6.7% respectively on worries that a spending splurge under Trump could cause the Fed to hike interest rates to fend off inflation. That has hit emerging market bonds, to which both have exposure, hard this morning.
The ongoing rally in sterling is boosting the UK’s retailers, with Next, which has previously warned that the lower pound could result in a 5% increase in prices at its stores, leading the way, up 3.4%.
|Current market levels / daily change (12:00pm):|
Chris Saint, Senior Analyst, HL Currency Service:
"The pound’s resurgence continues today, with sterling climbing to a 7-week high of €1.1669 against the euro earlier this morning. It has also breached the US$1.26 level versus the US dollar for the first time since the ‘flash crash’ more than a month ago. There may be some hopes that Trump’s election victory could put the UK at the front of the queue for a post-Brexit trade deal with the US, although at the very least this week’s events have shifted the focus away from the UK’s impending departure from the EU. Today’s domestic data was largely overlooked by sterling. UK construction output fell by 1.1% in the third quarter, but this was slightly better than the estimated 1.4% drop incorporated into last month’s GDP figures."
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