Business Briefing UK World

Daily Business Briefing: M&S profits drop, UK economy slowdown and Sterling fall

#Sterling #UKEconomy Daily Business briefing #coffee #Bitcoin #citynews

Sterling falls against the euro as European markets

Sterling remained at its lowest level for a fortnight against the euro as investors around the world breathed a sigh of relief after Emmanuel Macron reached the final round of voting in the French Presidential election.

The pound fell by more than 1.5 percent against the euro. At one point it reached lows of €1.1687, before recovering to around €1.175 in afternoon trading.

The pound has fallen 0.3% against the dollar after first quarter GDP figures were revised downwards on Thursday. Sterling is currently trading at $1.29360 against the dollar and is down 0.21% against the euro at 1.15410 euros.

Marks & Spencer reports 63.5 per cent slump in pre-tax profits

M&S profits took a tumble for the year to 1 April, reporting profit before tax down 63.5 per cent, as the iconic retailer counts the cost of restructuring.

Profit before tax dropped 63.5 per cent to £176.4m from £488.8m this time last year, with the retailer noting significant adjusted items of £437.4m. M&S pointed to the drop in clothing and home sales, as well as the increased costs of new space as road bumps for the retailer.

Bitcoin prices have passed $2,700 to record all-time highs

The bitcoin boom continues with the price smashing past the $2,700 mark, up more than 11 percent today – a new record all-time high.

At the time of publication, it was trading at $2,754.89 but had hit as high as $2776,63. The price of Bitcoin has rocketed more than 130 percent over the last three months.

UK economy slows more than expected

Higher prices brought on by weaker pound hit growth & Brexit are all factors that have contributed to the slow economic growth rates. UK GDP fell by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017. Economists provide a gloomy outlook for the next 12 months saying it is difficult to see any bright sparks or positives. In the last quarter of

In the last quarter of 2016, the UK economy had expanded by 0.7%, but many economists have been expecting it to slow this year as they predict consumers will cut back on spending in the face of accelerating inflation.

UK mortgage approvals slip in April

Mortgage approvals in April were slightly down on the monthly average of 41,959 over the previous six months, latest figures from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) out today showed.

Remortgaging approval numbers stood at 23,074, 11 percent lower than in April 2016 and down from the monthly average of 26,569 over the previous six months. During the month the average selling prices increased by two per cent while the typical purchase loan size was up by the same amount.

Allowing for such a seasonal factor, the CML said the amount borrowed last month was higher than the average over the past year and was 4% higher than in April 2016.

US Economy

In the US, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes have opened at record highs following the release of minutes from the Fed’s May meeting, which showed policymakers expect the economy to pick up speed.

Policymakers said they expected to raise interest rates sooner rather than later, but also agreed to hold off until it was clear a recent slowdown in the economy was temporary.


 

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