Tuesday, 15th August: The FTSE followed on from yesterday’s trend by carrying forward further gains at the opening, around 0.22% higher. However, this could change depending on the outcome of the inflation data due for release later in the morning.
As expected, tension surrounding a nuclear war has now simmered down as North Korea’s state media announced that Kim Jong Un is ‘delaying’ the act of firing missiles towards Guam. As equities continue to balance out amid the news, Gold slowly slides, and was quoted around 0.55% lower in the early hours of trading at around £982.957 per ounce.
Amongst the sea of banks looking to cut jobs to reduce costs is the Royal Bank of Scotland. Earlier in the year, reports suggested these job cuts would concern around 400 jobs, but today, the figure has doubled and the new anticipated job cut concerns almost 900 IT jobs on top of the initial rumoured cuts at the beginning of the year. This isn’t something they plan to do in the short term, but rather in the next three years or so. By 2020, the group intent on having an IT workforce of 950 full-time people, which is almost half of what they currently employ in the department. Other job cuts they announced earlier this year includes their plans to cut around 443 jobs in business loans, the majority of which will be moved to India.
Inflation data, when finally released, suggested that the financial squeeze on UK household spending is beginning to ease off, as official figures reported flat CPI and a 0.1% drop in core inflation. As a result the FTSE continued to make gains throughout the morning and afternoon. However, this caused the pound to weaken, as GBP/USD was down 0.81% at $1.2862, and GBP/EUR was down 0.25% at €1.0983.
The FTSE held onto gains it made throughout the day and closed 0.41% higher at 7383, but the FTSE 250 only 0.01% higher, due to large losses made by Acacia Mining, which sunk at the bottom-end of the index and closed 9.45% lower.