Global Market Report - December 14 2017

European markets lacked direction ahead of key central bank announcements, while US investors will get weekly jobless and monthly retail sales numbers today

James Gard 14 December, 2017 | 10:54AM

Asia

The People’s Bank of China surprised regional investors by hiking short-term interest rates, although it followed the Federal Reserve as it had done in March. The move came ahead of a raft of Chinese economic data, including retail sales and industrial production, which both expanded at the predicted rate.

China’s main markets, the Shanghai and Shenzhen Composite Indices, fell by less than half of 1%. Markets in Hong Kong and Japan also dipped after recent rallies.

Europe

Europe’s central banks step up to the plate on Thursday: the Bank of England is forecast to leave interest rates on old at 0.5% after November’s rate rise and the European Central Bank to also leave rates on hold.

Markets across the region were lower ahead of central bank announcements.

On the FTSE 250, Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct (SPD) was down nearly 10% after a plunge in profits. At the other end the table, shares in online grocer Ocado (OCDO) were nearly 4% higher after a rise in revenue, order size and value in the 14 weeks to December 3rd. The company’s shares are up sharply since the end of November: having traded around 230p a share then, they are now changing hands at over 350p.

The FTSE 100 dropped below the 7,500 points level it had briefly reclaimed this week, amid signs of strengthening in the pound against the euro. 

North America

The Federal Reserve, as expected, raised interest rates by 0.25% last night and maintained its previous position that there will be three more 25 basis points increases next year. The Fed sees 2018 GDP rising by 2.5% but that inflation will remain below the 2% target.

Weekly jobless claims and monthly retail sales will be in focus on Thursday.

There are some corporate earnings to hold investors’ attention ahead of the holiday season: wholesaler Costco (COST) and tech firms Oracle (ORCL) and Adobe (ADBE) will report after the market closes. 

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Rating
Adobe Inc350.06 USD0.02
Costco Wholesale Corp311.89 USD-0.44
Oracle Corp54.72 USD-0.91
Sports Direct International PLC518.00 GBX0.78

About Author

James Gard  is content editor for Morningstar.co.uk

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