Wednesday, 20th December: Today started with uncertainty for those who believe the FTSE will end 2017 by reaching a record high in its final month, as the index opened 0.1% lower. The top two early morning gainers were Next and easyJet.
It was confirmed today, during negotiations, that the EU expect the Brexit transition to be in full effect before the end of 2020. European banks which run trading operations in London have been worried about tense Brexit negotiations which could potentially lead them to having to invest vast sums of money if British regulators retaliate to difficult compromises. However, the Bank of England tried to put European banks’ minds at ease on Wednesday by saying no major adjustments would be necessary as long as the central bank kept close relations with European counterparts post Brexit.
In the afternoon, GBP/USD was 0.16% higher at $1.3408, and GBP/EUR was -0.22% at €1.1283. On a year to date basis, GBP/USD is up 8.5% and GBP/EUR is down -5.2%.
Santa could be moving his work shop from the North Pole to Amazon warehouses, because that’s where the majority seem to be getting their presents from. In an online poll carried out in America, it was revealed that around 60% of 2,644 online shoppers were counting on Amazon to deliver their holiday shopping, a jump from the 50% of people surveyed in 2015. Amazon’s speedy delivery promises has served them well, as people tend to turn to them opposed to other popular players in the states including Walmart, Target and Macys when buying their loved ones Christmas gifts. The peers have put a fair amount of work into online discounts and free shipping which could have an impact on their profit margins, but are well worth it if they are able to win back customers who have turned to Amazon in the run up to Christmas.
The FTSE struggled to hold onto any small gains made in the afternoon as it closed 0.25% lower at 7525.