Yesterday UK inflation hit 2.9 per cent in August, matching the level last seen in May

MARKETS CLOSE: Footsie slides and pound dips to $1.32

Yesterday UK inflation hit 2.9 per cent in August, matching the level last seen in May

Yesterday UK inflation hit 2.9 per cent in August, matching the level last seen in May

13:17
Toscafund to launch €300million private equity fund

London-based Toscafund Asset Management is set to launch a new 300million private equity fund that will focus on small and mid-sized companies.

Fabrizio Cesario and George Koulouris, who both previously worked at AnaCap Financial Partners, have joined Toscafund to establish the new fund, it said.

‘The ‘secular’ shift affecting the financial services industry is rapidly redesigning the competitive landscape, creating a wide opportunity set in the small/mid-cap space,’ Cesario said in the statement.

Toscafund, which was founded in 2000 by Martin Hughes, manages $3billion in assets, including an activist hedge fund strategy as well as stock-picking strategies.

13:00
Funny old morning, FTSE 100 and pound fighting for direction

Budget airline operator EasyJet is among a handful of stocks making any headway, its shares ticking higher after launching a platform which allows customers to book flights with other airlines on its website.

11:56
And the fallers

11:56
Here are the risers

10:55
FTSE 100 still down 33.8 points at 7,366.9
10:01
Attention now moves to the Bank of England and its members

The weak data revived worries that British households’ earnings growth is clearly not sufficient to compensate for the steeper rise in inflation.

The widening price-wage inflation gap is becoming a serious headache for the Bank of England policymakers.

The rising inflationary pressures could encourage some Monetary Policy Committee members to vote in favour of an interest rate hike in the coming months.

If the inflation rises above the 3 per cent level, the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will have to write an open letter to the Chancellor to explain the significant deviation from the 2 per cent mandate target.

09:50
While the UK economy flounders ECB boss Jean-Claude Juncker is peacocking

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has urged EU governments to take advantage of Brexit and an economic upswing to forge a tighter union at the heart of world trade.

In the EU’s equivalent of a US president’s State of the Union address, Juncker pledged to wrap up trade talks with Mexico and Brazil and proposed limiting China’s ability to buy up European companies in infrastructure, hi-tech manufacturing and energy.

Juncker said he saw the European bloc bouncing back, a decade after the global financial meltdown and ensuing euro zone crisis.

He told the European Parliament: ‘The wind is back in Europe’s sails.

‘Now we have a window of opportunity, but it will not stay open for ever. Let us make the most of the moment: catch the wind in our sails.’

09:40
Fears creeping in over wage and inflation data, raising interest rates unlikely and not the answer to the problem

Naeem Aslam, at Think Markets, said: ‘The UK wage growth data was as bad as it can get. Traders have decided to shave their profit which is the most sensible trade because the Bank of England will only choke the consumer if they increase the interest rate by looking at the inflation.

‘How much you really want to squeeze the consumer, inflation is high and if you increase the interest rate, it would only create a negative effect.’

09:32
BREAKING: UK wage growth disappoints after yesterday’s inflation number

UK average earnings weekly for July came in at 2.1 per cent

Survey: 2.2 per cent

Prior: 2.1 per cent

Unemployment fell by 75,000 to 1.46 million for the period May to July.

The pound does not like the figures, taking a mid-morning bath.

Pound falls as multi-decade low U.K. unemployment fails to lift wages https://t.co/IUsuVYj7JV via @jillianfwardpic.twitter.com/NXxE7QIFc7

— Bloomberg Markets (@markets) September 13, 2017

09:04
JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon has dismissed bitcoin as a fraud

Bitcoin ‘is a fraud’ and will blow up, Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan, said last night.

Speaking at a bank investor conference in New York, Dimon said: ‘The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart.’

Dimon said that if any JPMorgan traders were trading the crypto-currency: ‘I would fire them in a second, for two reasons; it is against our rules and they are stupid, and both are dangerous.’

08:41
Some company news out there ….

The Vue cinema chain has appointed former ITV boss Adam Crozier as chairman as speculation mounts that the group is heading for a stock market flotation or possible sale.

Crozier, who stepped down from ITV in June, will join Vue with immediate effect.

Vue is owned by Canadian investors Omers and Alberta Investment Management Corporation and it is thought that Mr Crozier’s appointment could pave the way for a potential sale or initial public offering.

Meanwhile profit at Dunelm fell by almost a third last year after the homewares retailer was stung by costs related to its acquisition of Worldstores and falling store sales.

The firm – which last month saw its chief executive, John Browett, step down with immediate effect for ‘personal reasons’ – reported a 28.3 per cent fall in pre-tax profit to £92.4million in the year to July 1.

Like-for-like sales dipped 0.5 per cent in the period, with comparable store sales falling 2.4 per cent.

Overall revenue rose 8.5 per cent to £955.6million.

Shares in Galliford Try are flat today after the company posted a 9 per cent jump in pre-tax profits excluding exceptional items, and a 7 per cent rise in revenue.

These figures are good, but they are not great when compared with other companies in the construction industry.

Elsewhere annuity provider Just Group reported a 39 per cent rise in first-half operating profit.

08:22
All eyes on wage and unemployment data this session

Over the last couple of months average earnings have managed to recover from lows of 1.7 per cent to recover to 2.1 per cent.

This recovery is expected to continue in July with a rise to 2.2 per cent, while the unemployment rate is expected to remain at a 42 year low of 4.4 per cent.

08:16
FTSE 100 down 43.4 points at 7,357.2

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Posted on; DailyMail>>

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