Market report

Tesco sees prices easing | sterling up on rate move

Tesco worker

Tesco CEO Ken Murphy said there are encouraging early signs that inflation is starting to ease across the market as the supermarket chain reported a 9% rise in UK like-for-like sales in the first quarter.

Edinburgh-based Tesco Bank has seen a 13.9% uplift for the 13 weeks ended 27 May, reflecting new customers in both lending & insurance and higher credit card spending.

Online sales were were up 8.2%.

“We expect to be able to deliver a broadly flat level of retail adjusted operating profit in 2023/24 and retail free cash flow within our target range of £1.4bn to £1.8bn,” said the company. “We expect Bank adjusted operating profit of between £130m and £160m.

Shares edged slightly lower.

ITV edged up as the broadcaster confirmed it is in talks about the possible acquisition of All3Media, the independent production company behind The Traitors. Responding to press speculation, the broadcaster said in a brief statement that it was “actively exploring” a potential deal.

The FTSE 100 ended the week 0.19% higher after closing at 7,642.72. The blue-chip index has posted a weekly gain of 1.06%, ending its three-week losing streak. 

The pound continued its rise as traders anticipate another hike in interest rates by the Bank of England next week.

Sterling was quoted at $1.2784 early today from $1.2759 at the London equities close last night.

The European Central Bank raised the interest rate for the eurozone by 25 basis points, as expected, and acknowledged in its statement that while inflation has been coming down, it is projected to remain “too high for too long”.

ECB President Christine Lagarde said a pause was not even an option for the ECB, leading markets to expect a further hike in July and September.

The Japanese yen weakened slightly overnight, as the Bank of Japan said it would maintain its long-standing, ultra-loose monetary policy.

It left its negative interest rate in place and did not adjust the band in which rates for 10-year government bonds fluctuate.

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