Wednesday, April 18: FTSE indices followed on from the Nikkei 225(+1.42%) as commodity majors helped lift the primary index towards a two and a half month high of 7,317.34(+1.26%). Commodity equities traded higher due to continuing aluminium price strength due to US sanctions on Russian producer Rusal.
Hammerson(+3.24%) backs out of INTU deal as it issued a withdrawal of recommendation to shareholders to vote in favour of its proposed acquisition of INTU. Hammerson noted that a number of recent administrations or restructuring of U.K retailers means there is now a “heightened level of risk” in the property sector, skewing the risk-reward ratio of the deal. INTU slipped into the red on the news(-4.13%) as the news broke this morning, though management retorted that Hammerson’s reason for issuing the withdrawal recommendation as “Unsatisfactory”.
Just as a UK BOE rate hike looked nailed on for next month following yesterday’s relatively strong employment data, today’s CPI read surprised on the downside potentially putting the 0.25% rate rise in jeopardy. CPI inflation fell from 2.7% to 2.5% year-on-year, below consensus expectations of 2.7% for the month of March. The ONS noted that clothing and footwear prices rose by less than that last year, especially within women’s clothing. Price movements for alcoholic drinks and tobacco also slowed price growth, due to a change in the budget cycle introduced in 2017.The data sent sterling 0.70% lower against the dollar to $1.48000, with a similar move of -0.70% to €1.14840 seen against the euro.
Across Europe, indices were up at the close with the FTSE 100 +1.26%, the DAX 30 +0.04% and the CAC 40 +0.50%.