Tuesday, 11th April: Consumer prices in the UK held steady at 2.3% (vs a year earlier), data from the Office for National Statistics revealed today. A combination of a late Easter weekend, thus leading to a reduction in airfare costs, and dip in global oil prices led to the stagnate inflation rate, however, prices rises are expected to resume soon. Rising prices for food, alcohol and tobacco and clothing and footwear were the main contributors, with a 1.2% rise for food prices making it the biggest increase in 3 years. Foreign exchange markets shrugged off the data release with ease with GBP against both the euro and US dollar trading higher at the time of writing, reversing earlier losses.
The biggest mover on London indices was JD Sports, reporting record profits for the 52 weeks to 28 January 2017. The sports brand has benefitted as it becomes more the norm to wear trainers and tracksuits, and even the previously loss-making outdoor brands, Millets and Blacks, have returned to making money. However, an edge of caution is in the air as cost pressures look set to arise later this year following sterling’s tumble post-Brexit, although the group remains confident for further profitable growth. As a double boost to the shares today, Peel Hunt lifted its target price for JD Sports, retaining a Buy status with the shares sitting comfortably at the top of the FTSE 250, closing +8.24%.
There is such a thing as bad media, as United Airline could tell you today. After video footage emerged of a passenger being dragged off an over-booked flight, the shares have dropped more than 3%. The CEO of United doesn’t seem to have much sympathy with the aborted passenger, claiming employees “followed established procedures” and that the passenger in question had been “disruptive and belligerent”…
Positive sentiment at the close in the UK with both the FTSE 100 and 250 closing with similar gains on the day. The CAC 40 and DAX closed in the red while at the time of writing, US indices are trading lower.