Thursday, 16th November: GKN is leading on the list of FTSE 100 laggers this morning, down more than 9% at the open after the group announced they were letting go of the CEO designate, Kevin Cummings, as a result of the problems which occurred within the aerospace unit he was running. In addition to this, the group’s recent balance sheet mishaps has cost them a furthers £80 million to be written off, bringing the total amount to £130 million, more than eight times higher than the initial £15 million. The news pressured the share price for the remainder of the day and the group remained at the bottom end of the index, but managed to slightly recover from the initial drop.
The index opened relatively flat and remained so for the majority of the day. It was only at around 14:30 (GMT) that a notable increase of around 0.17% to 7385.38 occurred. Sterling also made some decent moves today after positive UK retail data was released, demonstrating a 0.3% increase mom in October. In the afternoon, GBP/USD was up 0.23% at $1.3203, but it was still down around -0.42% when compared to the beginning of November.
Jumping on the jobless bandwagon today is our buddy from across the pond. The US Labour Department revealed that the claims made for state unemployment benefits jumped up by an unexpected 10,000 to a total of 249,000 for the week which ended November 11th. This has widely missed predictions of a drop to 235,000. However, the fact that the claims threshold of 300,000 is still fairly far away is reassuring for the economy, as they use this as a measure associated with a strong labour market.
Slightly off topic, but worth noting for the art enthusiasts, a Leonardo da Vinci painting was auctioned off last night in NYC for a mind blowing £342 million. The sale of the piece of art called ‘Salvator Mundi’ broke the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold, heartbreaking news for the individual who sold it for just £45 in 1958 at an auction in London.
After three days in a row of closing lower, the FTSE finally managed to finish the day slightly higher, by 0.19% at 7386.94.