Market News & Analysis


FTSE higher on China deal, Iran ceasefire

The FTSE made progress this morning as the US and Iran seem for the moment to have stepped away from the brink of a conflict. President Trump’s less confrontational tone helped lift US markets during the Wednesday session and the upbeat mood shifted to Asia and Europe Thursday. 

Another significant boost for the market came from the progress between the US and China as China’s chief trade talks envoy Liu He confirmed that he will be coming to Washington next week to sign the first phase of the Sino-US trade deal. 

Big retailers struggle but smaller players come out tops

Now that the Christmas tinsel has been cleared away and UK retailers have done the math on their festive sales the numbers make for a sobering reading. Tesco reported slightly higher overall sales only because higher sales in Europe balanced out the weaker performance in the UK. 

Marks & Spencer fared worse and is now forecasting gross margins at the lower end of its guidance given that sales were below expectations while John Lewis Partnership said it may not pay out bonuses following a decline in revenues. 

The one standout performance came from home furnishings chain Dunhelm which managed to increase sales by 5.6% in the first half of its financial year. 

Tesco’s shares rallied 2.75%, M&S shares took a 10% hit and Dunhelm rose 0.6%

Oil, gold lose momentum

Without the Iran wind in its sails Brent crude prices settled back in the $65-$66 range, trading up half a percent on the morning. If Iran news remains on the back burner some support could come from the signing of the US-China trade talks next week and also stock building ahead of the Chinese New Year later this month. 

Gold has retreated from a 6-year highe it hit earlier this week and is trading down 0.8%.

From time to time, GAIN Capital Australia Pty Ltd (“we”, “our”) website may contain links to other sites and/or resources provided by third parties. These links and/or resources are provided for your information only and we have no control over the contents of those materials, and in no way endorse their content. Any analysis, opinion, commentary or research-based material on our website is for information and educational purposes only and is not, in any circumstances, intended to be an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell. You should always seek independent advice as to your suitability to speculate in any related markets and your ability to assume the associated risks, if you are at all unsure. No representation or warranty is made, express or implied, that the materials on our website are complete or accurate. We are not under any obligation to update any such material.

As such, we (and/or our associated companies) will not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage incurred by you or any third party arising out of, or in connection with, any use of the information on our website (other than with regards to any duty or liability that we are unable to limit or exclude by law or under the applicable regulatory system) and any such liability is hereby expressly disclaimed.