Tuesday, 18th February: Markets were hit by news from Apple surrounding the impact coronavirus was due to have on their sales, adding to existing concerns the virus us having on the financial operations of business, with specific supply constraints for Apple and adding to the concerns already raised by the likes of AstraZeneca and Burberry earlier this month. As a result, the FTSE 100 opened a drastic 0.97% lower n Tuesday morning.
The ONS released fresh data on Tuesday too, revealing a steady unemployment rate of 3.8% during the three-month period of October to December, and a record high employment rate of 76.5% in the same three-month period. However, the news was slightly overshadowed by a slowdown in wage growth which aced itself to 2.9%, down from 3.7% in the previous quarter.
NMC managed to steal the spotlight for the second day in a row and topped the index at circa 4.8% towards the end of the day, whilst HSBC was at the bottom, down more than 6.0% following the news that they due to cut around 35,000 jobs in a restructuring plan to save currently falling profits. In 2019, revenue rose 4.3% which missed expectations, and pre-tax profit fell 33.0%, which is fuelling their motivation to execute decisive decisions to reshape the under performing areas of the business.
At the end of the day the blue-chip index was 0.69% lower at 7382.01 and the FTSE 250 was down 0.68% at 21678.5, whilst sterling was up 0.076% to $1.30159 against the dollar and up 0.283% to €1.2036 against the euro.