19th June 2019 at 8:30 am
UK and European markets opened flat ahead of a much-anticipated US Federal Reserve decision on interest rates.
Stocks in Asia rose following positive developments overnight on the US-China trade front.
The dollar held near a two-week high ahead of the Federal Reserve’s closely-watched policy decision later in the day, supported by a surprisingly dovish European Central Bank and bearish eurozone economic data.
Gold prices inched lower as hopes of a resolution to the China- US trade spat and a dovish European Central Bank lifted riskier assets, while investors awaited the US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision later in the day.
In corporate news, first quarter like-for-like revenue per available room at Whitbread’s Premier Inn division fell 6% as Brexit concerns and cost inflation continued to weigh.The food and hotel company, which last year sold the Costa coffee chain to Coca-Cola for £3.9bn, said total UK like-for-like sales were 3.7% lower.
Berkeley Group posted a 20.7% decline in full-year pre-tax profits to reach £775.2m, which was nevertheless at the top end of market expectations, leaving it 18% ahead of its December 2016 plans for £3.0bn of profits for the five years ending on 30 April, despite the “extended macro and political uncertainty”.
AstraZeneca announced three new drug approvals in Japan, first confirming that ‘Breztri Aerosphere’ (budesonide/glycopyrronium/ formoterol fumarate) has been approved there as a triple-combination therapy to relieve symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Saga reported “early signs of progress” in the stabilisation of its retail broking operations and resilience in its cruise business, adding that overall trading for the past five months has been broadly on track. However, the company continues to face strong headwinds in both travel and insurance as it implements a new strategy announced in April.
FTSE 100 7,442 (-0.01%)
FTSE 250 19,319 +0.04%
DAX 12,324 (-0.06%)
At the Close
Dow Jones 26,465 +1.35%
S&P 500 2,917 +0.97%
NASDAQ 7,953 +1.39%
UK 10-YR YIELD 0.82
Gold $1,344 (-0.03%)
Brent $62.16 (-0.16%)
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