Markets: Close

Interest rate move delayed | Asos reports weaker trade


4.30pm: Stocks rise

The blue chip FTSE 100 index closed 89.01 points higher at 7,351.07, off the day’s high, buoyed by mining stocks.

Among small-caps there was better news for cash-strapped Cineworld which soared 11% on approval from the US Bankruptcy Court for up to $785 million of a $1.94 billion debtor-in-possession financing facility.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was called 0.7% higher, the S&P 500 up 0.8%, and Nasdaq Composite up 1.0%.

2pm: Interest rate decision delayed

The Bank of England has postponed a likely hike in interest rates following the death of the Queen.

It said that “in light of the period of national mourning”, the Monetary Policy Committee’s decision would now be announced at midday on 22 September instead of 15 September.

Economists have been predicting that interest rates would rise from 1.75% to 2.25% – the highest level since December 2008, with inflation currently at 10.1%.

Last month, the Bank raised interest rates by the highest margin in 27 years in an attempt to keep soaring prices under control. It also predicted that the UK economy would fall into recession later this year.

7am: Asos reports weaker trade

Online fashion retailer Asos said August sales had been weaker than expected as a result of accelerating inflationary pressures and a slow start to the Autumn/Winter shopping period.

However, full-year sales, adjusted PBT and net debt are anticipated to be in the range of market expectations, it said.

Profit is anticipated to be around the bottom end of company guidance, with constant currency sales growth of c.2% and net debt c.£150m.

While ASOS remains cautious about the outlook for consumer spending, it continues to make strategic progress and manage the business for the current environment.

ASOS will report full-year results on 12 October

Global markets

The European Central Bank unveiled its largest-ever interest rate rise on Thursday, but President Christine Lagarde was stressed that such a rise will not become normal.

The Frankfurt-based bank upped its key interest rates by 75 basis points, as it “frontloads” its fight against surging inflation and soaring energy bills. The hike was the largest in since the euro’s launch in 1999.

London’s blue chip FTSE 100 was expected to follow gains in the US on Thursday as markets in Asia also rose after better than expected inflation figures in China.

The Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was up 0.6%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.7%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 2.5%.

Investors in the US appeared to match Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell’s determination to tame inflation with aggressive monetary tightening, by sending shares higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.61% up, the S&P 500 gained 0.66%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.6%.

Brent oil was trading at $89.62 a barrel, higher than $88.99 late Thursday.

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