Tuesday, 17 July: The pound took another tumble amid further Brexit turmoil amongst the Conservative party over fears of the UK leaving the EU next March without a deal. Sterling reversed earlier gains following latest employment data from the ONS. Wage growth of 2.5% in the 3 months to May was down from 2.6% in the previous quarter, while unemployment fell by 12,000 to 1.41m. The unemployment rate stayed at 4.2%, the joint lowest since 1975. The pound’s reaction to the slightly disappointing wage growth data looks to be favouring a rate rise in the UK next month, after weak data earlier in the year postponed monetary action in June. Sterling remained lower against the dollar and euro over the course of the afternoon, currently at $1.31 and €1.12 respectively.
Major equity markets in Europe sat higher as the day wore on, unlike their Asian counterparts. Much of Asia extending Monday’s declines, although Japan bucked the trend, reopening after an extended weekend to end +0.44% higher. US indices were fairly muted at the time of writing although Netflix dominated headlines after revealing lower than expected subscriber figures. The streaming provider, who produce original shows such as The Crown and House of Cards, added 5.15m customers from April to June, 1m lower than forecast and down from 7.41m in the first quarter of the year. Subscription figures are always set to fluctuate over the year and the recent World Cup in Russia has been partially blamed for the drop. Netflix fell more than 13% in Tuesday trade, although paring back some of these losses as the day continued.
A slew of trading updates in the UK helped push London indices higher. TalkTalk sat at the top of the more domestic FTSE 250, closing +8.01% after revealing a 4.1% rise in first quarter revenue and reiterating full year guidance. 80,000 broadband customers were added in the quarter with average revenue per user fell to £24.65 (20,000 users added in the comparative period last year, at an average revenue per customer of £25.10). Many of the risers on the main London index were absent of any news, although Royal Mail (+1.81%) delivered a better than expected first quarter trading update. Parcel volumes grew 7% (vs 5% guidance), while letter volumes continued to lag. Both the FTSE 100 and 250 were uniform at the close, up 0.34%.