Wednesday, 7th February: Volatility continued over the rest of Tuesday as US indices (S&P 500 +1.74%, Dow Jones +2.33% and Nasdaq +2.13%) recovered to close in the green, and thus leading the way for Asian and European trade over the course of Wednesday. The stronger positive sentiment wasn’t quite replicated in Asia with the Nikkei paring earlier gains of c.3% to close +0.16% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed -0.75%. Major European indices began to claw back some of the losses over the last few days; the FTSE 100 +1.93%, 250 +2.23%, CAC 40 +1.82% and DAX +1.61%. The S&P and Dow are both recording gains at the time of writing.
Every Little Helps, and Tesco could be about to asking for a bit more help if a potential bill of up to £4bn develops. It turns out Tesco haven’t been paying thousands of hourly-paid female staff the same as men, despite them doing comparable work. More than 1,000 female Tesco staff have contacted law firm Leigh Day looking for equal pay; the same law firm are looking at claims against Sainsbury’s and Asda. More than 200,000 Tesco employees may have been underpaid and should the pay be backdated, female employees could be looking at a £20,000 reimbursement each. Tesco closed +1.30%.
House prices in the UK have fallen for the second month according to Halifax, the UK’s largest lender. Prices fell 0.6% in January (December -0.8%) as inflation continued to squeeze household budgets. Consensus had been for a 0.2% rise. On an annual basis the cost of homes is rising 2.2%, the slowest rise since July 2017.