Markets: Live

Stocks off highs as US inflation exceeds forecast


4.30pm: Stocks dip after US inflation data

The FTSE 100 index came back off earlier highs after the US consumer price index (CPI) reading for January came in slightly higher than expected at 0.5% month-over-month and 6.4% year-over-year.

The market had been expecting increases of 0.5% and 6.2%, respectively.

Laith Khalaf, head of investment analysis at AJ Bell, said: “US inflation is falling, but too slowly by half. There is clearly still too much inflation in the bagging area, but in early trading the S&P 500 shrugged off the latest inflation numbers after an initial stutter. 

“It’s never a good idea to set too much store by one month’s inflation reading, especially when volatile items like fuel and electricity hold so much sway. But the coming months will tell us whether the market is going to move on from fretting about how high inflation will go to worrying instead about how long it will last.

The FTSE 100 touched a new record 7996.55 before closing just 6.25 points higher at 7,953.85.

2pm: FanDuel factor in Flutter’s float plans

Flutter’s US business, FanDuel, which was founded in Edinburgh, has become a key factor in the the group’s plans for a possible listing of its shares in the US.

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8.30am: Ford cuts jobs

Ford is cutting 1,300 jobs in the UK and 2,300 in Germany as it restructures around the transition to electric vehicle manufacturing.

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9.30am: Pay and labour market data

Figures showing wage inflation rising, but getting close to its peak, may prompt the Bank of England to raise rates again before pausing, says an economist

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8.01am: FTSE edges towards 8,000

The FTSE 100 was up 23 points at 7,970.21 and could break through the 8,000 threshold today.

Global markets

The European Union and eurozone will “narrowly avoid” recession this winter, according to official data.

The bloc’s economy is now expected to expand by 0.9%, instead of a previously forecast 0.3%, amid higher growth figures and slowing inflation.

Continued diversification of supply sources and a sharp drop in consumption have left gas storage levels above the seasonal average of past years, and wholesale gas prices have fallen well below levels before the Ukraine conflict.

Stock markets in Europe were expected to open higher ahead of jobs and wage data for the UK and the latest inflation figues for the US.

Wall Street closed higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 1.1%, the S&P 500 up 1.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite up 1.4%.

The Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was up 0.6%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.1%.

Brent oil was trading at $86.20 a barrel early on Tuesday, against $85.82 late Monday. 

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