Friday, 2 March: We’ve made it to the end of another week to forget for global equities; investor caution, hawkish Fed comments and Trump’s tariffs have all played a part. The Nikkei kicked us off this morning to a 2.5% loss, very much setting the tone as the Hang Seng dropped just over 1.5%. Unsurprisingly European bourses followed, the FTSE slipping to a 1.47% loss on the day as screens shone red for most the session. Italy’s FSTE MIB closed 2.39% down as their election fears also weighed, with the result due on Sunday. After Trump announced import tariffs major steelmakers and industrial giants bared the brunt of the hit. Also today we had Theresa May speak on post-Brexit Britain and our relationship with Europe. It’s still ‘complicated’ so no need to update Facebook just yet.
On the FTSE Mondi shares topped the index after they rose 3.86% after strong results. Other shares in focus included Mothercare, which looks perilously close to being the next high street name in need of the administrators. Shares finished over 15% lower as profit came in at the lower end of guidance and they expect to breach borrowing limits. Sports Direct has increased its stake in Debenhams to 29.7%, so he’s proved he’s willing to invest money in some things. Clearly still not Newcastle United.
Compared to a month or so ago, it has been quiet on the crypto-currency front. But today Mark Carney, BoE governor warned that they need to be regulated. Shock. After reaching highs of almost $20,000 per coin, they’re currently just above the £10,000 mark. By any other standards, this volatility is unprecedented, so no wonder some folk are asking for a few rules.