Monday, 1st October: The main headline this morning was the successful revamp to NAFTA, after the US, Canada and Mexico all came to a fresh trade agreement, effectively scrapping the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This helped buoy shares, especially in the US once Wall Street opened and it simultaneously strengthened the dollar, peso and Canadian dollar. As we write the S&P is 0.65% higher and the Dow sits almost 1% higher. Staying in America Tesla shares rocketed at the opening bell after Elon Musk agreed a settlement with regulators that otherwise could’ve potentially forced him out the company. It brings a swift end to what may have potentially mean the loss of the firm’s leader and huge disruptions to operations, not to mention funding headaches. The settlement was also met with quarterly production figures for the Tesla Model 3, which remained in line with guidance at 53,000 during Q3. They had made less than 29,000 models during the previous quarter.
Back in the UK, budget airline shares were amongst the hardest hit to begin the week, after Ryanair announced strikes would hit profits and Easyjet was hit by a broker downgrade. The rising cost of fuel also gave more reason for investor caution. On the day Easyjet finished 7% lower and Ryanair saw shares close 12.8% lower.
Easyjet shares were only kept from the bottom of the FTSE by Royal Mail, who saw shares plummet almost 18% to begin October. Was it because their most valuable employee was at the Ryder Cup? Possibly, but Ian Poulter’s absence for a few days shouldn’t warrant such a decline. The move was in fact caused by their latest update which announced that adjusted operating profit would be below last year’s level and that UK productivity was significantly below plan.