Tuesday, 11 June: This morning there was an air of optimism for global markets, after broadly higher sessions on Wall St. to begin the week and Asia overnight, the majority of European indices followed. The FTSE broke 7,400 shortly after the open to hit month intraday-highs. Domestic shares were given further fuel from continued weakness in sterling. Globally, investor hopes of lower interest rates amid geo-political uncertainty has given equities a boost, with ongoing UK political turmoil likely to provide further protection for LSE listed shares.
Shortly after the open, we received a raft of UK data to digest. The UK saw wage growth excluding bonuses in the three months to April alongside low unemployment at 3.8%. Average earnings excluding bonuses grew 3.4% in over the three month period, compared to +3.3% in the three months to March. Both wage and unemployment data came in slightly better than expected, continuing to defy many analysts take on Brexit uncertainty and its impact on the economy. With the news sterling was given a rare lift but the FTSE was able to hold onto the majority of gains. During the Afternoon London shares were helped from the news of fresh stimulus in China in order to help the world’s second-largest economy. As we write the Dow and S&P both sit a quarter percent higher, and the FTSE has closed the day 0.3% higher just dipping below 7,400.
Stocks in focus on the day included fashion retailers Ted Baker and Quiz, albeit for all the wrong reasons. They were two of the largest fallers on the day, with Ted Baker free-falling 29% after issuing a profit warning. They have commented on the tough first half and continued promotional activity alongside uncertainty as being the root cause. Quiz shares closed the day -21% after announcing a pre-tax profit fall of 97% in fiscal 2019 due to increasing operating costs despite revenue growth, they have also suspended the final dividend.
Other companies providing updates today included Halma (+4.3%), who topped the FTSE 100 after reporting record revenues and pre-tax profit jumping 20%. J Sainsbury (-0.4%) has appointed a new CEO for their bank subject to regulatory approval and Dewhurst (-6.9%) saw improved demand in the first half of the year which helped lift revenue 31%, although they’ve seen weakness in the transportation market. Thomas Cook shares fell a further 5.8% today on speculation that their tour operator will be sold.