Markets: Live

Lloyd’s hit by conflict and weather | rates verdict


12.05pm: Interest rate rises

Interest rates have risen for the eleventh time in a row to 4.25% as the Bank of England continues its battle to tame inflation

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8.10am: Interest rates verdict pushes market down

The FTSE 100 opened about 20 points lower after the US Federal Reserve’s decision to lift interest rates by 25 basis points which is expected to be followed by a similar move today by the Bank of England.

The Fed lifted rates despite the turmoil in the banking sector as it remained focused on tackling persistently high inflation. The central bank’s unanimous decision takes the federal funds rate range to 4.75% to 5.00%.

In its policy statement, the Fed said “some additional policy firming may be appropriate” which the market interpreted as being more dovish than its previous guidance.

Wall Street ended the session lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 1.6%, the S&P 500 down 1.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite down 1.6%.

In Tokyo early today the Nikkei 225 index was down 0.2%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.5%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 1.6%.

7am: Lloyd’s loss

Lloyd’s of London paid out over £21 billion to customers after facing substantial claims from the conflict in Ukraine and Hurricane Ian in the US.

The insurance syndicate reported an underwriting profit of £2.6 billion (2021: profit of £1.7bn) but swung to a pre-tax loss of £800m against a £2.3bn profit in the previous 12 months.

John Neal, CEO of Lloyd’s said: “This is an outstanding underwriting result that follows several years of performance improvement, a comprehensive plan to digitalise our market, steady and sustained progress on our culture and purposeful action to help our industry and society manage the biggest challenges of our time.

“Looking to 2023, Lloyd’s expects strong premium growth to around £56bn, a combined ratio below 95% and a total investment performance on our assets of more than 3% – enabling us to support customers through the uncertain times ahead.”

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