Musk in fresh Twitter warning | FTSE 100 defies Bailey fears
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10pm: Wall Street higher
Wall Street stocks closed sharply higher as investors responded positively last months’s retail sales data showing that Americans continued splashing out much more than expected.
At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.34%, while the S&P 500 was 2.02% firmer and the Nasdaq Composite enjoyed a welcome resurgence, up 2.76%.
5pm: London lifted
The FTSE 100 index closed 53.55 points (0.7%) higher at 7,518.35 on hopes that China would ease its pandemic-related curbs, although strength in the pound following an upbeat employment report capped gains for the export-oriented benchmark index.
The pound was quoted at $1.2465 from $1.2250 at the London equities close on Monday. The pound reached an intraday high of $1.2498, its best level in roughly two weeks.
M&C Saatchi fell 2.1% to 159.60p. The London-based advertising agency rejected a new proposal from AdvancedAdvT, led by one of M&C’s own directors Vin Murria.
Drinks group C&C – which owns Tennent’s in Scotland and the Bulmers and Magners cider brands – was 3.71% higher after it swung to a full-year profit as Covid restrictions eased.
Vodafone Group managed gains of 0.2%, clawing back earlier losses after it posted a 5% rise in annual profits as its German operations performed strongly, but warned that inflation was likely to hit current-year figures.
9.45am: Musk demands Twitter data
Elon Musk has again stated that his takeover of Twitter cannot move forward until the social media company provides proof of its spam account figures.
The Tesla CEO, who last month offered $44 billion for the network, disputes its claims that bots represent around 5% of its users. He says the figure could be “much higher” than 20%.
In a tweet this morning Musk stated: “20% fake/spam accounts, while 4 times what Twitter claims, could be *much* higher.
“My offer was based on Twitter’s SEC filings being accurate. Yesterday, Twitter’s CEO publicly refused to show proof of <5%. This deal cannot move forward until he does.”
9.30am: Bailey comments fail to dampen market
Commenting on Andrew Bailey’s admission that inflation may be beyond the control of the Bank of England, AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould says: “This is not the message you want to hear from the Bank of England Governor.
“Andrew Bailey as a latter-day King Canute has told everyone he and the Bank are helpless in the face of runaway inflation. But despite this, and employment data showing a record jump in pay to underline his point, the FTSE 100 managed to start on the front foot on Tuesday.
“A decent session in Asia helped lift the mood with commodities stocks in demand after the recent sell-off on China-related concerns.”
The FTSE 100 was up 57 points at 7,522.08.
7am: Jobless low
Unemployment fell to 3.7% in the first three months of the year – its lowest since 1974 – as demand for workers remains buoyant.
For the first time ever, there were fewer unemployed people than job vacancies, although the fall in the rate was also down to a rise in the number of people dropping out of the jobs market, the figures showed.
Operating profit for the year increased by 11.1% to €5.7 billion (FY21: €5.1 billion) on a 4% rise in group revenue to €45.6 billion driven by service revenue growth in Europe and Africa.
Total dividends per share are 9.0 eurocents, including a final dividend per share of 4.5 eurocents.
China’s tough action on Covid restrictions prompted protests with authorities as Shanghai residents are beginning to reject the prolonged confinement and food shortages which are impacting on the world’s second-largest economy.
Official data showed that retail sales and industrial production in April had slumped to their lowest levels in more than two years.
Authorities in Shanghai – China’s biggest city – over the weekend announced they will reopen in stages, news that provided some cheer to Asian markets.
The Shanghai Composite was 0.5% higher, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 2.3%. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.5%.
London’s blue chip FTSE 100 index was expected to build on its near 47-point gain at the start of the week despite new warnings from the Bank of England on inflation.
Germany, France and Italy’s bourses ended the day in the red, while on Wall Street the Dow Jones was just ahead, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.4% and the Nasdaq dropped 1.2%.