Thursday, 19 January: Investors seemed to find their feet on Thursday after May’s speech earlier in the week with regards to the Brexit plan. Large currency swings came to a halt and the FTSE indices ticked down. Without any major data releases to dictate the market in the AM, investors awaited Draghi’s lunchtime press conference following the latest ECB rate decision. Markets weren’t expecting anything major from the latest summit, many expecting a ‘wait and see’ attitude, like others have already opted for at the beginning of 2017. As expected rates were held, but the euro slipped once Draghi began to speak on underlying inflationary pressures. Again the eurozone recovery will lie heavily upon the moves made by the US and the impact the UK’s exit will have, eventually. Overall nothing much new was learnt, but Draghi appeared more dovish than some may have been expecting. As we write the pound is 0.46% higher against the euro.
In share news, Royal Mail Group sat at the bottom of the index today, as they cited weakness in the UK market. Trading remains in line with expectations in the 9 months to Dec 25 as other areas offset the decline in letters, but again headwinds remain going forward. Shares closed the day -5.99%.
Halfords have reported like for like revenue growth in the third quarter, as comparable revenue jumped 5.9%, they also confirm they are to pay a special dividend. Halfords topped the 250, finishing 9% higher.
BHP, Vale and their Brazilian JV have agreed a settlement plan for the dam failure in 2015 which resulted in 19 deaths. The civil claim settlement is believed to be worth $47.5bn [-0.58%].
Finishing second on the FTSE 250 was Moneysupermarket.com, whom said today it will post an adjusted operating profit figure 8% higher than the prior year, for the period ending Dec 31 [+7.95%].
The FTSE 100 finished 0.54% lower, with the 250 0.49% lower. As US stocks continue, they currently sit broadly flat, with eyes on tomorrow for Trump’s inauguration.
In fairly unrelated news and because well, it’s a pretty quiet day in terms of news flow, Deloitte have published their latest ‘Football Money League’ report, which puts Manchester United at the top of the rich list for the first time since 2003/04 season. It also knocks Real Madrid from the top spot for the first time in 11 years, as they slipped to third at the expense of their La Liga rivals Barcelona. This is the 20th edition of the report and the top three clubs today were the same back in 96/97, however they did generate seven times the revenue. There were 8 Premier League clubs this year inside the top 20, with Leicester City making their first appearance.