Banks bounce on Brexit bookie numbers….

Weak Asian stock performance followed on from a weaker lead from the US last night. Financials and retailers lent some strength to the FTSE 100 as miners once again showed their volatile nature after rallying only yesterday – they crashing lower as copper demand faltered on a stronger dollar. Both factors netted out to see the FTSE 100 closing largely flat at -0.03%.
Investors shook off Brexit-related jitters and bought into banks, beneficiaries included Barclays(+3.51%), Standard Chartered(+3.42%), and RBS(4.29%). Marks & Spencer’s was another household name which investors took to, as the retailer closed +2.89%. This was as bookmakers indicated that an ‘in’ vote was now more probable at c.76% for the referendum next month, calming nerves of those holding exposed stocks and sending the pound soaring to 2.5 week high against the euro, as an Ipsos-Mori polled to similar effect, albeit with a lower 55% declaring their support for an ‘in’ vote.
UK unemployment flatlined at 5.1%, as expected, as unemployment fell by only 2,000 in the three months to March. This was as adjusted April jobless claimants came in at only -2,400, below a forecast of -5,050. Average weekly earnings growth excl. bonuses slowed to 2.1%, down from 2.2% in the three months to February. This data release, along with recent GBP, manufacturing and trade point to an overall softening of the UK economic picture.
At the close European indices were mixed with the FTSE 100 -0.03%, with the CAC 40 +0.51%, and the DAX 30 +0.54%.

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