Tuesday, 24th October: Tuesday’s aren’t great. Personally, it is my least favourite day of the week. You can celebrate that Monday is behind us but the weekend seems so far away still. Markets seemed to be feeling the same as once again, indices in London and further afield failed to fill us with excitement. There is much talk that investors are waiting for the ECB to announce their long awaited updated tapering decision on Thursday, although this will be more a case of Draghi crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s as the element of surprise has been quashed as talk of a stimulus reduction has been circulating for a while.
There aren’t many high streets in the UK that don’t have the presence of a Costa Coffee. Whitbread, the parent owner of Costa and Premier Inns has today announced a 0.6% fall in first-half sales (excluding new stores) and flat operating profit from its coffee chain. A rise in the cost of coffee imports has been blamed for a 10% fall in pre-tax profits, although the Whitbread boss has said there are no plans to pass on these cost rises to consumers. The weaker pound however has lured tourists to the UK and profits from the Premier Inn side of the business rose 27%. Shares in Whitbread fell 4.79%.
Again, there is a lack of movement at the European close. Whitbread stuck to the bottom of the main London index while miners climbed as Copper neared 3-year highs following a 14% rise in Chinese copper imports. Chilean copper miner Antofagasta rose 2.79%. Not even a drum-roll could add to the FTSE’s performance, closing +0.03%. Flat. Again. Indices in the US continued to reach new record highs, but US President Donald Trump doesn’t like to mention it….