Thursday, 14 July: Despite much speculation the UK was on course for the first interest rate change in interest rates for seven years the Bank of England decided to hold rates at 0.5%. The MPC vote showed 8 in favour of holding rates and 1 in favour of a cut (despite various news outlets reporting the minority vote was actually in favour of a rate rise). In the current environment the weak pound is helping short term inflation. Financial markets had priced in an 80% chance of a cut coming this month, and following the announcement the pound surged against the dollar and euro, whilst equities retreated to flat within minutes despite being up over 1% before the announcement, unsurprisingly financials led the way. It now looks even more likely that monetary easing will be introduced in August, as we will have relatively far more data available for policymakers to decipher following the Brexit by then. The recent equity rally and dovish BoE tone has bought sufficient time for Carney and his team, however as always expect intense speculation to ramp up between now and the next meet. At the close the main index finished the day down 0.24%, elsewhere around Europe the CAC and DAX enjoyed respective gains of 1.16% and 1.39%.
So as you know, David Cameron has left the keys to No. 10 for Theresa May, the UK’s second female PM. Since her instatement she’s played the wildcard button on her fantasy team, or cabinet as it is more formally known. Here are some of her changes ahead of the new season; Philip Hammond, no relation to Richard replaces the fan favourite George Osborne as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He will be in charge of the British economy in post Brexit Britain (cue envious looks); well at least he gets a new red briefcase. Boris Johnson, the bike riding, zip wire enthusiast, soccer aid Messi is back. After a break shorter than an Anthony Joshua fight, he succeeds Hammond as Foreign Secretary. This is a goalkeeper in the box for the last corner moment in some respects, but what’s the worst that can happen? Then we have Jeremy Hunt, who left. Well supposedly. Then returned, just like he was never gone… which it turns out he wasn’t and so continues his role as Health Secretary or as he reckons ‘the best job in Government’ – I guess we will have to trust his word on that one. David Davis (the man so good they almost named him twice) has been appointed to the brand spanking new position of Secretary of State for Exiting the EU. It rolls of the tongue as easy as you’d assume his job will be in the coming months (500 trees were harmed in the making of his desk plaque). Michael Gove said he didn’t have charisma. Add to that a job, as Liz Truss takes over as Justice Secretary. There are quite a few other reshuffles, but for now those are some of the main changes.
Unless you’ve been taking a sabbatical from the world it is likely you will have heard about Pokemon’s comeback. And just like Craig David’s, it has come back stronger. Nintendo becomes the latest to bring back a retro favourite as a monetising juggernaut. Pokemon Go enables people with smart phones to look bonkers, catching virtual Pokemon in real life locations. The excuse of bumping into someone and spilling their drink because Pikachu was at the bar is now a real excuse. Nintendo shares have risen 50% since the release but it’s not available worldwide just yet and the game isn’t without its glitches. Figuratively and literally, also expect plaster or ‘band aid’ sales to rocket. Let’s hope for humanity this is a one step back two steps forward move.