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Asian stock markets rise on Fed minutes, oil recovery – business live

Discussion in 'Market News' started by Lily, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. Lily

    Lily Forum Member

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    Minutes of last meeting of US Federal Reserve suggest policymakers in no rush to raise interest rates again

    8.44am GMT

    Oil prices continue to climb, after Iran welcomed plans by Russia and Saudi Arabia to cap production, although analysts noted that the move would not lead to any output cuts and Tehran did not commit to reining in its own growing output.

    The price of Brent crude, the global benchmark, jumped 7% on Wednesday. On Thursday, Brent rose more than 1% in early London trading but is now flat at $34.52 a barrel.

    8.38am GMT

    Stock markets have got off to a cautious start: The FTSE 100 index is down nearly 40 points, or 0.6%, at 5992.86. The Dax in Frankfurt is 0.15% ahead while the CAC in Paris has edged up 0.1%.

    Disappointing corporate results are weighing on European stocks. Shares in food giant Nestlé dropped more than 4% after sales missed forecasts and it admitted it was struggling to raise its prices. It has been hit by the slowdown in emerging markets, and a recall of its popular Maggi noodles in India.

    8.36am GMT

    On the agenda today, a report on the state of the global economy from the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is out at 10.00 GMT.

    8.11am GMT

    The number of properties in Britain worth £1m or more is set to more than triple by 2030, widening the gap between the housing haves and have-nots, according to a new report.

    Less than half a million homes in the UK are currently valued at £1m-plus, but a study by high street lender Santander claims this number will rise to more than 1.6m in the next 15 years. You can read the report on property millionaires here (PDF).

    By 2030 the UK will be even more starkly divided into the housing wealthy and the housing poor than it is now.”

    8.09am GMT

    But Centrica reported a 4% fall in adjusted earnings per share for the group and said it would cut 1,000 jobs this year. Following the collapse in wholesale prices, it booked charges of £2.4bn on oil and gas assets and power stations. Here is the full story.

    7.58am GMT

    On the corporate front, British Gas owner Centrica has reported a leap in annual profits of 31%, to £574m, at its residential supply business.

    Our energy editor, Terry Macalister, reports:

    7.41am GMT

    Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

    Stock markets have had a decent run this week, after all the recent turmoil. London’s leading share index, the FTSE 100, posted four consecutive daily gains for the first time this year, its best run since November.

    Despite the increased uncertainty, [Fed] officials seemed content to wait and see whether the tightening of financial conditions was sustained and, if so, whether it would negatively impact on GDP growth. In the immediate aftermath of that January meeting financial conditions tightened even further, with equity prices tumbling and riskier corporate bond spreads widening.

    As it stands now, however, the S&P 500 is back at its late January level, the dollar has weakened and, even though junk bond yields have increased, investment-grade corporate bond yields and mortgage rates have actually fallen. The incoming economic data have also improved, with employment, retail sales and manufacturing output recording solid gains in January.

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