UK house prices fall for first time since 2012
London-listed shares had a mixed Wednesday, with the FTSE 100 marginally down, and the FTSE 250 up 0.4%.
Data from Nationwide showed that UK house prices fell for the first time since 2012 in June, losing 0.1% versus the same month last year, after climbing 1.8% year-over-year in May. The news sent shares in house builder Taylor Wimpey down 2.9%. Broker Hargreaves Lansdown, broadcaster ITV and precious metals miner Polymetal fell the furthest among FTSE 100 stocks, finishing the day down 5.5%, 4.1% and 3.4% respectively.
At the top of the FTSE 250 was asset manager Liontrust, which rose 8.4% after announcing a £75 million deal to acquire Architas’ UK investment business from AXA.
In business news, a raft of company layoffs dominated headlines. In the past two days, job cuts announced include 5,000 from catering company SSP Group, 1,700 UK jobs from Airbus, and 700 jobs at Harrods.
- FTSE 100: -0.2% Wednesday, -18.4% YTD
- FTSE 250: +0.4% Wednesday, -21.5% YTD
What to watch
US jobs report: The main thing to watch in economic data and scheduled company announcements today is the US job report, which is arriving a day earlier than usual ahead of a public holiday on Friday for Independence Day. The most watched pieces of data coming out of the report will be the change in non-farm payrolls, the unemployment rate, and average earnings.
Expectations are for 3.1 million new nonfarm payrolls in June — which is a count of payroll jobs available, excluding farm workers, some government workers and non-profit employees. That compares to the 2.5 million new nonfarm payrolls added in May.
Economists polled by Bloomberg anticipate the unemployment rate to come in at 12.5%, and average hourly earnings to fall by close to 1% month-on-month, although year-on-year average hourly earnings are still expected to make substantial gains.
Those aggregated estimates from economists hide a wide variation among those polled, so surprise results on any of those metrics — which would likely move markets — are a distinct possibility.
Crypto corner: US senators propose cryptoasset investigation
US senators on the Senate Banking Committee plan to introduce new legislation this week to compel the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study into the “illicit” activities of cryptoassets online, Coindesk reports.
The amendment, which appears in a larger piece of legislation, acknowledges that cryptoassets are used lawfully in many cases but pushes the GAO to investigate supposed criminal use by traffickers and terrorists.
The Senators want the GAO to study how cryptoassets are used by such groups, and whether they are being used to launder money inside the US banking system. So far the amendment has bipartisan support from the 25-member committee but it is unclear as of yet whether it has support to pass Congress as a whole.
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