Investment market update
UK equities are expected to start the week in positive territory in spite of the mixed performance of Asian stock markets overnight.
Asian stocks swung between gains and losses as investors weighed positive earnings results with weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data. Nissin Foods Holdings Co. jumped 4.4% after net income rose 35%. Tokyo Electric Power Co. fell 7.8% after being left out of the JPX-Nikkei Index 400.
US stocks fell, after the latest jobs figures were seen as leaving the door open to a rate rise in September. Hershey Co. fell 2.7% after quarterly revenue missed estimates. American Express Co. rallied 6.3% as an activist fund was said to have amassed a stake in the company.
UK stocks were little changed on Friday as a drop in ITV Plc, Shire Plc and AstraZeneca Plc outweighed a rebound in commodity shares. Anglo American Plc, Rio Tinto Group and BP Plc added at least 1.3% each.
The US economy added 215,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate held at a seven-year-low of 5.3%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said job gains came in retail trade, health care, professional and technical services, and financial activities. Analysts said the figures meant a US interest rate rise in September remained a possibility.
The UK’s data watchdog is ‘making inquiries’ after Carphone Warehouse said the personal details of up to 2.4 million of its customers may have been accessed in a cyber-attack. The attack was discovered on Wednesday, and made public on Saturday. The encrypted credit card details of up to 90,000 people may have been accessed, the mobile phone firm said.
Inflation in Brazil has hit a 12-year high of 9.56%, official figures have shown. The rising cost of electricity, in particular, has pushed the rate to its highest level since November 2003. The country’s central bank targets an inflation rate of 4.5% and has raised interest rates to 14.25% – among the highest of major economies – to combat rising prices.
Farming unions from across the UK will hold an ‘urgent summit’ later to discuss milk prices, following widespread protests. Some farmers are being paid less than the cost of production, the National Farmers’ Union says. Protests have included removing large quantities of milk cartons from shops and blockading distribution centres. Supermarket chain Morrisons will meet farming industry leaders on Tuesday to discuss the price row.