Wednesday, 11th May: The UK’s industrial production rose in March by 0.3% according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. However, production actually fell by 0.4% in the first quarter of the year compared with the final three months of 2015, with mining and quarrying baring the blame as the largest contributor to the fall. These first quarter figures are unchanged from those used in April’s first-quarter estimate. Looking ahead, the second quarter for the UK doesn’t look like it will be much easier. The upcoming EU referendum has been weighing on many in the UK – a series of surveys of businesses only last week has suggested growth is due to slow, with investment plans put on hold by many businesses until a result has been finalised. The Bank of England (BoE) is expected to keep interest rates on hold when it announces its monthly policy decision on Thursday.
The European Commission has had their say on available phone networks available to UK consumers. Telefonica wanted to sell O2 to CK Hutchison, the owner of Three. The planned deal was going to be worth £10.3bn, but would have left the UK mobile user with only three mobile operators to chose from. However, Europe’s competition commissioner expressed concerns, highlighting that customer choice would be reduced and an increase in prices potentially arising. BT recently acquired EE, whilst Vodafone still exists in its entirety in the UK.
It wouldn’t really be our daily blog without the mention of Brent oil which is on the move once again. At the time of writing the commodity is +4.4% at $47.14 pbl. As has been the correlation it seems, mining stocks rose with Anglo sitting firmly at the top of the FTSE 100 in afternoon trading.
What have you worn to work today? A new receptionist at PwC in London was reportedly sent home after refusing to wear shoes with a “2-4″ heel”, apparently part of the group’s “appearance guidelines”. After refusing to wear such attire, the lady in question was sent home without pay, while her male colleagues continued with their day in flat shoes…
At the close European indices were mixed with the FTSE 100 ending in the green, albeit marginally at +0.1%. The CAC and DAX both ended negatively, -0.5% and -0.7% respectively. In the US the Dow Jones and S&P 500 are both trading lower.