Wednesday, December 13: markets were generally sanguine, ahead of the Federal Reserve’s announcement of a second interest rate rise of 2017 for the United States. The FTSE 100 closed -0.05% with little stock specific news to move the index.
Dixons Carphone(+5.98%) led the FTSE 250 gainers despite announcing a fall in profit of 60% and lowering guidance. The higher end of guidance for PBT was trimmed from £440m to £400m, with PBT now expected in the £360-400m range. However, investors took solace in a dividend that was sustained at current levels, good performance both overseas and in UK electrical and room to manoeuvre regarding the troubled mobile segment of the business. It is expected that the retailer will close a number of mobile stores within the business, in order to reduce the capital intensity of the mobile segment.
The UK unemployment rate stood at 4.3% in the August-October period, a more-than four-decade low and unchanged from the previous month’s figure. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal forecast a 0.1 percentage-point decline in the unemployment rate. Average earnings for the three months to October grew 2.3%, below the 3.1% inflation rate posted for November, highlighting the ongoing squeeze on incomes for UK residents.
Across Europe, indices were lower at the close with the FTSE 100 -0.05%, the DAX 30 -0.44% and the CAC 40 -0.51%.