Friday, September 7: Once more markets opened on the back foot as trade troubles continued to induce investors to run for cover. Financials, energy and mining stocks weighed heaviest on the FTSE 100(-0.56%) as markets slid lower ahead of the afternoon’s US Jobs report.
IAG(-4.21%)continued to lose altitude as it acknowledged the theft of financial and personal data over a 15-day data breach. 380,000 card payments were reported to have been compromised, with customers trying to cancel their credit cards to negate further negative impacts. British Airways admitted “criminal activity” had compromised the personal and financial details of customers who made bookings on its website or app from just before 11pm on August 21 until 9.45pm on Wednesday.
Greene King(+7.58%) led the FTSE 250 higher after reporting LFL sales growth of 2.8% over the first 18 weeks of the year while also announcing its plans to dispose of 100-110 pubs and open 9 new outlets were on track. LFL sales for the pub and restaurant operator were 1.2% ahead of overall market growth and driven by good weather, benefits from investments and the World Cup as UK drinkers swilled 3.7m pints during England’s World Cup matches
The US economy continued on its record-breaking run as it added 201,000 jobs, ahead of a consensus 192,000 and marking the 95th consecutive month of uninterrupted growth. Wage growth also picked up marginally in August, rising 2.9% from a year earlier, though it hasn’t surpassed the 3% mark since 2009 despite the record number of jobs added.
Sterling leapt to a one-week high against the dollar after EU negotiator Michel Barnier said the EU was open to discussing other “backstops” on the Brexit issue. The EU has made the Irish “backstop” a condition for any divorce deal before Britain leaves the EU on March 29, 2019.
At the close European equities were mixed with the FTSE 100 -0.56%, the CAC 40 +0.16% and the DAX +0.04%.