FTSE 100 Live May 19: Pound hits four-week low, Hong Kong stocks fall


Nikkei leads as equity markets recover and sterling falls

The US dollar continued to appreciate amid optimism over the progress of the debt ceiling negotiations and after comments from Federal Reserve officials debunked arguments for a rate pause.

The pound slipped below $1.24 today, down from a one-year high of nearly $1.27 on May 10 as traders began to price in further rate hikes from the Bank of England.

Wall Street stocks also benefited from positive signs that the US will avoid a debt default, with the S&P 500 index up 0.9% last night, to near a nine-month high.

Cyclical and technology stocks were favored as the Nasdaq Composite also continued its recent outperformance, up 1.2%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei led as the weak yen and strong domestic earnings pushed the benchmark to its seventh consecutive high since 1990. However, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng missed out, falling 1% from Alibaba on disappointing results.

The FTSE 100 index was up 0.3% yesterday and is expected to open 20 points higher at 7762 by CMC Markets.


Despite the pressure on the cost of living, consumer confidence continues to recover

Consumer confidence will continue to recover in the coming year despite continued pressure on the cost of living, according to a long-running survey.

GfK’s consumer confidence index rose three points to minus 27 in May, the fourth straight monthly increase from minus 45 in January.

Confidence in personal finances posted a “robust” five-point rise over the next 12 months to minus 8 — 17 points up from this time last year.

Read more here


Hong Kong stocks slide on lost sales at Alibaba

Hong Kong shares fell this morning after Alibaba’s fourth-quarter sales shortfall fueled fears of a slowdown in China’s post-COVID-19 recovery.

The e-commerce business saw its domestic retail sales fall 3%, while the cloud division saw its revenue decline year over year for the first time. Alibaba said it is planning an IPO spin-off for its cloud business and would consider separate listings for its logistics and grocery businesses.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 2.4%, while Alibaba shares fell as much as 5.4%, their biggest one-day decline in nearly three months.

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/ftse-100-live-19-may-pound-hits-fourweek-low-hong-kong-stocks-slide-dollar-shares-treasuries-interest-rates-inflation-b1082237.html FTSE 100 Live May 19: Pound hits four-week low, Hong Kong stocks fall


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