Learn more about how economic events both here in the UK and across the globe can affect your finances
Learn more about how economic events both here in the UK and across the globe can affect your finances.
The FTSE 100 enjoyed strong gains this afternoon as sterling came under pressure and after the European Central Bank said despite ending its quantitative easing programme it would not raise interest rates until mid-2019 at the earliest. By the close the index of leading UK shares was up 0.8% at 7,765.79.
The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney backtracked from previous guidance for a rate hike in May 2018 amid economic uncertainty. Still, most observers reckon it is a matter of when, not if, the Bank will look to increase rates from the current level of 0.5%. Many still think the UK will see interest rates rise in 2018.
The pound fell on the latest ructions in the Brexit process. This had positive implications for the relative valuation of overseas earnings from the FTSE 100 and helped lift the index off its lows to trade broadly flat by the close at 7,704.40.
Investors were unnerved by US President Donald Trump's decision to cancel a planned summit with North Korea. The FTSE 100 fell 0.9% to 7,716.74 with utility companies and oil majors among the underperforming stocks.
A surge in the oil price helped lift shares in BP (BP.) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB), which, given their weighting in the index, supported a surge in the FTSE 100 to a new record high level. By the close the index of leading UK shares was up 0.7% at 7,787.97.
Investors have had to endure a volatile first few months of 2018 on the stock market. Selling and scandals in the technology sector, geo-political tensions and a war of words over trade have all contributed to the up and down performance. As at close on the 16 April the FTSE 100 was 6.4% lower year-to-date.
By the close on Thursday the FTSE 100 was solidly in positive territory, up 0.1% at 7139.76 . The index took its cue from strong trading on Wall Street where the appointment of Larry Kudlow as President Donald Trump’s new economic adviser was well received by investors.
Having fallen sharply early on Thursday (22 February) as renewed fears over US interest rate hikes spooked global markets, the FTSE 100 made a partial recovery later after a strong open on Wall Streeet. By the close the index was down 0.4% to 7252.39.
After significant volatility in global markets earlier in the week the FTSE 100 was under pressure again on Thursday as the Bank of England hinted at an increase in interest rates sooner than expected. By the close the index of leading UK shares was down 1.5% at 7,170.69.
The FTSE 100 closed down 0.36% at 7,615.84 on Thursday as the dollar fell on comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that weakness in the currency was good for the US. The weaker dollar hitting those FTSE 100 companies with significant US earnings.
Hopes for progress on Brexit helped lift the pound on Thursday (7 December), hitting the relative value of the overseas earnings which dominate the FTSE 100. At close the index of leading shares was down 0.25% at 7,329.91.
The FTSE 100 was higher on Thursday (16 November) taking its cue from a strong open for US stocks and a better-than-expected showing for the retail sector. At the close the index of leading UK shares was up 0.2% at 7,386.94.
Sterling is moving higher against other major currencies amid reports of progress on Brexit negotiations. This is putting pressure on the FTSE 100 as it impacts the relative value of its constituents’ largely overseas earnings. At the close on Thursday (30 November) the index of leading UK shares was down 0.9% at 7326.67.
Low interest rates, in the UK anyway, have become a part of the fabric of life. But in November of this year, the Bank of England finally made a move upwards - a 0.25 percentage point increase in the base rate that puts interest rates at 0.5 per cent.
Most investors have little desire to become currency traders. But as global trade has become the norm, even the returns on our domestic stocks and funds have become heavily influenced by the movement of the pound against foreign currencies.
Eight times a year the Federal Open Market Committee sits to decide on US monetary policy. The committee, a part of the US Federal Reserve, has responsibilities which include setting interest rates and providing financial stimulus for the economy. Its first meeting is typically in late January and its final meeting in mid-December.