Banking stocks help FTSE 100 higher
London-listed shares were buoyed by positive employment figures in the US, as the UK’s biggest companies make a substantial portion of their revenues from the US.
The FTSE 100 jumped 1.3%, although it is still down 17.3% year-to-date, lagging far behind the major US indices. Banking, travel and retail stocks helped take the index higher. International Consolidated Airlines Group led the way with a 5.7% gain, followed by Royal Bank of Scotland on 4.7% and HSBC on 4.5%. RBS has been one of the hardest hit British banking stocks in 2020 so far and remains 48% down year-to-date. Rival HSBC is down 34.3%, Barclays is 34.4% down and Lloyds is 49% off. All of the banks have scrapped their dividends due to the coronavirus pandemic, so the depressed share prices are not translating into elevated income for new investors into the stocks.
The FTSE 250 climbed 1% on Thursday, led by aerospace firm Meggitt, Virgin Money UK and iron miner Ferrexpo, which all gained more than 5%.
- FTSE 100: +1.3% Thursday, -17.3% YTD
- FTSE 250: +1% Thursday, -20.6% YTD
What to watch
US markets are closed on Friday for a public holiday, so there are no earnings reports or economic data.
UK car sales: On Monday, June new car sales figures will be reported in the UK, following a disastrous May where car sales fell 89% versus the same month last year.
Micro Focus International: One London-listed stock to watch early next week is Micro Focus, which has lost 58% of its value year-to-date and is down 79.5% over the past 12 months. That has pushed the firm’s dividend yield past 10%, which is certain to be a focus for analysts when the company reports its latest set of earnings on Tuesday. Micro Focus is a FTSE 250 stock that offers software and consulting services to businesses. The company has been a rollercoaster ride for investors, and in the few years preceding the recent crisis has suffered multiple double-digit share price falls.
Crypto corner: Bitcoin supply to be outstripped by demand by 2028
The daily mined supply of Bitcoin will drop below the daily buyer demand by 2028, according to research from cryptocurrency derivatives exchange ZUBR.
ZUBR crunched numbers provided by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis to forecast what demand for Bitcoin may look like over the next eight years.
According to the firm, when Bitcoin’s daily supply issuance drops to 450 BTC per day following the 2024 halving (it’s currently at 900 BTC per day), then retail investors “could potentially account for eating up over 50%” of this daily supply.
Extrapolating the number of new entrants coming into the market based on current data, ZUBR said by 2028 this trend will have exacerbated to the point where retail investors alone will take all the new daily supply. Overnight, Bitcoin held steady above $9,000, trading at $9,086 this morning.
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