US futures slightly lower this morning; Europe and Asia show optimism
US futures suggest a lower start this morning after a record high for the S&P 500 last night; the broadly strong earnings results continuing to drive the market. Europe’s shares have been climbing after data showed recovery for the region’s economy in July after some recent worrying data. Manufacturing and services both showed improvement. The EU will consider further sanctions against Russia today. There was good news
from China too, with manufacturing stats from HSBC showing better than expected growth. Asian investors though are concerned about rising geopolitical risk especially in Gaza and this offset some of the gains.
FAA lifts Israel flight bans
The ban on US flights to and from Israel, imposed by the FAA due to risks of Hamas rocket strikes, has been lifted. The removal of the restriction as of 11.45pm last night (Wednesday) is the result of constantly monitored and updated information about unrest in Gaza. Despite the change, some US airlines may decide to avoid flights to the region; Delta diverted a plane earlier this week before the FAA ban was implemented. Read the full story.
Facebook investors give the ‘thumbs up’ to results
Following Apple’s impressive financial data earlier this week, the tech sector continued to impress yesterday as Facebook announced its latest results. Revenue beat the predictions (61% to $2.91 billion in the second quarter) and profits more than doubled ($791 million, up from $333 million a year ago.) Facebook’s revenue from mobile advertising is now 62 per cent of its total income and with that sector set to overtake radio, magazines and newspapers in the US this year, its position in the market should lead to even greater things. Investors who bought into Facebook’s IPO have now almost doubled the value of their investment. Read the full story.
Slow wage growth may dictate Fed policy
Experts are predicting that the Fed’s monetary policy will be unchanged for at least the next couple of months, due to slow wage growth. While many of the economic markers recently have shown growth and optimism, wages are not moving much. Any rise in interest rates would be tough for the average wage-earner to accept, especially those who have a mortgage. The Fed will meet next week to discuss policy but it is likely that even with more growth expected to be announced, interest rates will stay where they are until the middle of next year. Read the full story.
ECB suffers cyber attack
The European Central Bank has this morning confirmed that is has been the victim of a cyber attack. The breach occurred on a database linked to the Bank’s public website and has resulted in email addresses and other contact information being accessed. The data is low level, relating to those who have requested updates in ECB events, and no market sensitive or financial information has been compromised. That said, the hacking of data from a major central bank is a stark reminder of the risks of this kind of attack. The ECB says its security team has addressed the vulnerabilities of the system. Read the full story.