The FTSE was up 3 points in early trading this Wednesday morning with holiday operator, TUI the stand out performer following a positive set of full year results. Ashtead was the morning’s biggest faller as profit takers cashed in on yesterday’s positive set of interim results.
Weakness in the Dollar this morning has boosted the Pound which, in turn, is holding back the FTSE Blue Chips. That weakness stems from a surprise win for the Democrats in the Alabama state elections overnight. FxPro analyst, Edward Anderson explains “President Trump suffered a major setback as the once strictly Republican state of Alabama has, for the first time in 25 years, elected a Democrat to the US Senate. Democrat Doug Jones staged a stunning come-from-behind win against GOP Doug Jones in, what many believe, will trigger a political earthquake that will be felt nationally and internationally”
The US Dollar has more to deal with this afternoon in the form of the Fed Rate Decision. “The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates for the last time this year during today’s meeting but the important question is what kind of guidance traders will receive to accompany the decision.” suggested ADS Securities analyst, Konstantinos Anthis. “This will be Janet Yellen’s last meeting as the head of the US central bank and it will be interesting to see whether she provides markets with her outlook on the economy or prefers to say as little as possible allowing Powell to shape future expectations when he formally succeeds her.”
The Pound, meanwhile, has its own issues to deal with following yesterday’s inflationary report. “A few weeks ago we were assured by Bank of England officials that inflation was likely to peak at about 3% and come down thereafter, so it was particularly disappointing that the latest UK inflation data showed that prices in November rose by 3.1%, their highest level in five years” commented CMC Markets analyst, Michael Hewson. “The rise in CPI is particularly unwelcome just before Christmas for a consumer that has become increasingly squeezed, and despite assurances to the contrary from a number of commentators that prices have probably peaked, there is a concern that they may well be mistaken and we could see further unwelcome rises. “