US equity markets closed mixed as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq continued their recent outperformance to post fresh record closing highs, while the Dow Jones closed lower.
Accendo Markets Analyst, Mike van Dulken noted – “disappointing Q1 earnings from Disney weighed on the Dow Jonews, offsetting gains for oil major Chevron. It was the energy sector that outperformed on the S&P too as the crude oil price recovery flowed through into equity space.”
In the UK, the FTSE shed around 10 points after the bell, drifting away from the 7400 mark it grazed on Wednesday; sterling was similarly sluggish, remained just below 1.295 against the dollar while slipping 0.1% against the euro.
After a few days of largely directionless trading, Investors have some data to work with today. First up are the manufacturing and industrial production readings, which are forecast to fall from -0.1% to 0.2%, and rise from -0.7% to -0.4% respectively. There is also the goods trade balance figure for March, with the deficit set to shrink from £12.5 billion to £11.7 billion month-on-month.
Spreadex Analyst, Connor Campbell added – “Heading into lunch things heat up significantly, with the Bank of England not only voting on interest rates but revealing its latest inflation report. In regards to the former, some analysts have floated the idea that Kristin Forbes, who voted for a rate hike in the last MPC meeting, may be joined by another hawk – it is also interesting to note that the number of members has shrunk from 9 to 8 this month thanks to the resignation of Charlotte Hogg. As for the report, cut growth forecasts and raised inflation guidance is likely what’s on the cards, something that would put further pressure on Carney and co. to tighten monetary policy, and therefore could end up benefiting the pound.”