Wednesday, 11 April: The Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t have a verified blue tick twitter account, but no doubt he will have seen Trump’s recent tweets warning Russia to “get ready” for a volley of US missiles fired at Syria. Russia has an alliance with Syrian President Assad and while relations between the US and Russia look to be fading each day of late, senior Russian figures have threatened to respond to any US strikes. Before Trump’s tweets European markets had been trading lower, while US futures looked to be heading in the same direction.
Elsewhere in the US, consumer prices have fallen for the first time in 10 months. CPI, reflecting what Americans pay for all items, fell 0.1% vs last month (following a 0.2% rise in February) as a fall in gasoline prices were held to blame. However, excluding energy and food, prices rose 0.2% with the cost of housing, medical care and food all rising. On an annualised basis, consumers prices have risen 2.4% while core prices are up 2.1%.
Topping the FTSE was Tesco who today announced a continued revival with improving profits, amid a sector that is plagued with ongoing cost pressures. A ninth consecutive quarter of growth comes despite the competitive food retail environment, where traditional supermarkets have struggled to keep pace with German discounters Lidl and Aldi. Tesco also announced its first final dividend for 4 years with shareholders set to receive 3p a share for 2017. Shares topped the FTSE from the open, rising >6% intra-day, closing +7.18%.
Online retailer Asos have posted a 10% rise in first half profits, with sales rising 27% to £1.13bn. However, plans to spend £250m on its operations has led to investors banking profits and the shares falling 2.42% at the close. At the same time, one of the UK’s biggest online retailers, Shop Direct, who own Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com have announced plans to close 3 warehouses, leading to the potential loss of 2,000 jobs.
A slight negative read was recorded across London indices at market close, while further losses were ongoing across in the US. Mark Zuckerberg continues to face questions at the congress hearing following Facebook’s data misuse scandal. Zuckerberg claims his own Facebook data was also sold. Shares on course for their third day of gains.