Monday, 20th May: European bourses began the week lower today as trade concerns refused to subside. The FTSE opened around 0.6% lower and there was little stimulus from there, with the index eventually finishing Monday 0.5% lower. Japan’s Nikkei was one of the best performing markets today, rising 0.9% after GDP figures surprised the market that broadly expected contraction never mind the 2.1% annualised growth. The growth was attributed to imports falling faster than exports but Japanese growth will be stronger this year than previously expected and it makes the planned sales tax hike more likely later in the year given the world’s third-largest economy is showing resilience.
In companies news Ryanair was among the main stories today, warning profits would be lower this year, having been impacted by the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX amongst other things. The announcement dragged the sector lower as budget airline shares struggled today. Ryanair, Europe’s largest budget airline, saw shares decline 4.7%, with Easyjet dropping 3.4% and Wizz Air, Dart group and IAG not escaping falls.
Staying with airlines Thomas Cook has been trying to reassure customers amid the plummeting share price. Today shares fell a further 12% and are now over 90% lower than this time last year. They have disputed rumours that they’re heading towards administration and claim to have lender support.
Elsewhere US bourses have began their session lower with the dollar also slipping. Oil sits above $72 p/bbl and Nigel Farage came to Newcastle today, left shaken not stirred.
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