If there’s a common theme to negative data and missing guidance it would have to be the weather. UK industrial production fell more than expected during December citing, you guessed it, the unseasonably warm weather. This in turn caused a reduction in electricity and gas production. Analysts expected a fall of 0.2% compared to the 1.1% fall.
European markets at the open led a subdued rally after being trounced so far this week. Despite a fairly choppy session many main European indices managed to hold onto gains made throughout the day, the FTSE 100 closing 0.71% higher despite intraday highs of around +1.4%.
Miners weighed on the FTSE most of the day. Brent oil itself has endured a very choppy session, especially as Janet Yellen’s testimony begun. As we speak oil is down over 4% for the day, keeping its head just above the $30 mark.
Leading on, Janet Yellen is currently enduring the Q&A section of her address concerning the Fed and monetary policy. It is fair to describe the questions as fiery and the mood in the room quite tense. There has been no groundbreaking insight given away to any future movements by the Fed. Although she has spoken of the various fairly obvious risks to US growth, and mentioned that more recently US financial performance has been less supportive of growth. Despite this they still see gradual rate hikes. These suggestions that further rate rises are still on the table has edged the dollar up against the euro and yen, US markets have also been given a small lift.