World stocks stall with UK and Europe data of concern
The week was going well with concerns over Ukraine easing and positive data on the US housing market helping the gains but then came Wednesday. Minutes from the Bank of England show that 2 of the 9 policymakers voted to increase interest rates. This was a surprise; especially with the UK’s positive inflation rates earlier in the week. It means an end to Mark Carney’s consensus on rate rises and some analysts predict a rise towards the end of this year. Added into the mix was news
from the Eurozone that money market rates have hit a record low. Things may change later as the Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes are released. Asian markets were mixed at the close on anticipation of Janet Yellen’s speech from Jackson Hole later. US stock futures were edging lower.
The US Federal Reserve releases the minutes of its policy meeting at 2pm ET.
Target, Lowe’s and Staples report before the bell with Hewlett-Packard and Victoria Secrets owner L Brands reporting after the close.
The greenback bounces back
The US dollar hit a 9-month high against the Euro and a 4-month high against the Yen and the Pound today as optimism on the economy increased. With tensions over Russia easing and yesterday’s US housing data, the dollar is strong. However the Fed meeting later, the fact that Treasury yields remain low and concerns over Iraq are all adding a cautious note. Read the full story.
Standard Chartered hit with $300m fine
Two years ago British bank Standard Chartered was hit with a $667m fine and promised that it would stay within the rules in future. Yesterday it was hit with another $300 million fine, from New York regulators, and censured on some business activities in the US for failing to fix what was broken. The bank has not got control of money laundering activities and is now banned from dollar clearing through its New York branch. This particularly affects its Hong Kong client base. The bank has not been found guilty of any criminal wrongdoing but the regulator has said that banks must face up to their commitments or be penalized. Read the full story.
Apple keeps growing
Stocks in Apple closed yesterday at a record high of $100.53 and are expected to edge higher again today. The shares were split 7 for 1 in June but have now surpassed their pre-split hit of $700. The current surge in interest lies with the expected announcement of iPhone 6 and iWatch. The phone in particular is raising expectations of something amazing which would see sales soar. Some analysts are predicting Apple shares to increase to $120 within the year. Read the full story.