There has been little to distract from Marmite-gate this morning, the markets sticky with fear at the latest effects of the weakened pound.
With both Unilever and Tesco down between 2.5% and 3% thanks to their current price spat, and the UK commodity sector struggling thanks to weak trade data out of China, the FTSE fell around 50 points this Thursday. That leaves the UK index the wrong side of 7000 for the first time in a week and a half, with some of its components suddenly not too pleased at the prospect of a substantially weakened pound.
As for sterling, the currency is actually holding up relatively well considering the food-based focus that it is under this morning. Of course relatively well still means it is below 1.22 against the dollar and barely over 1.105 against the euro; however, that marks an improvement on the lows struck early in the session, with investors seemingly unwilling to push the pound any further into the muck just yet.
Elsewhere the Dow Jones is threatening to fall below 18000 when it opens later this afternoon. The index’s futures are suggesting a 115 point drop after the bell, a decline that would leave it a mere 30 points above that landmark level. The consistent strength of the dollar, and the general sense of volatility and instability around the globe, has weighed on the Dow in the past few days, with the week’s losses currently standing at around 300 or so points.