Global Market Report - March 21, 2018

Global investors are awaiting the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision and news conference

James Gard 21 March, 2018 | 10:52AM


Markets in the Asia-Pacific region fell on Tuesday despite stability returning to US shares after Monday’s tech-inspired selloff. With the dollar weakening ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting tonight, Japan’s equity markets struggled to make any progress – and are indeed a long way off recouping the losses made in the February selloff. The Nikkei 225 was one of the worst performers in the region in percentage terms, although China’s CSI 300 was not too far behind. Nevertheless, today’s losses were in the region of less than half a percent on Tuesday’s close.


With the pound gaining strength on renewed optimism over the Brexit transition process, the UK’s FTSE 100 lost ground. Shares in DIY firm and B&Q owner Kingfisher (KGF) were off nearly 8% on Wednesday morning as full-year profits fell 10%. Retail shares were under pressure across the market, not least menswear retailer Moss Bros (MOSB), which was off nearly 20% - the biggest faller on the FTSE All-Share.

In UK economics, yesterday’s fall in inflation to 2.7% was followed by today’s news that average weekly earnings were 2.8% higher in three months to January on the same period a year ago. While there is a timelag between inflation and wage data, the trends seem to be moving towards the point where rises in British workers’ salaries are not outstripped by rises in the cost of living.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Facebook Inc A233.42 USD-1.74
Kingfisher PLC220.50 GBX-2.30
Moss Bros Group PLC  

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James Gard  is content editor for

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