Investment market update
UK stocks are expected to open higher this morning following gains made in Asia and the US.
Asian stocks rose, extending a global equity rally, and Indonesia’s rupiah was headed for its best week since 2001 as investors moved back into riskier assets amid speculation the Federal Reserve won’t be raising interest rates until risks from outside the US subside. Toshiba Corp. jumped 5.2% on reports Chinese computer maker Tsinghua Unisplendour Co. may be interested in the Japanese company’s memory operations.
US stocks rose as the Federal Reserve minutes reflected caution over raising interest rates even as the economy improves, further boosting commodity producers. Boeing Co. and Honeywell International Inc. rallied more than 1.4%, while railroad Union Pacific Corp. added 2.0% to a two-month high.
After sliding in early trade, UK stocks recovered to close higher at 6,374.82. Top risers in the FTSE 100 included mining firm Fresnillo, up 4.2%, and retail giant Tesco, up 2.4%. Mining giant Glencore was one of the biggest fallers, down 2.7%, after downbeat comments from brokers.
News that the Bank of England had voted by 8 votes to 1 to hold UK interest rates at 0.5% – as expected – had little effect on the market. One committee member, Ian McCafferty, disagreed with the majority outlook and voted for a quarter-point rate rise for a third month in a row. UK interest rates have now remained unchanged for more than six years.
Oil surged above $50 a barrel for the first time since July on speculation that demand is picking up.
Volkswagen’s US boss has made a ‘sincere apology’ for installing ‘defeat devices’ to cheat emissions tests on its diesel cars. Michael Horn, chief executive of VW’s US operation, said the events were ‘deeply troubling’. However, he said the decision to use the devices was not one made by the company’s board, but by individuals.