The market participants are expected to remain busy in the week because of the earnings reports lined up from the big US companies. Another important event which got the attention of the market participants was the meeting of the US Federal Reserve. In 2018, the Federal Reserve raised the interest rates four times, and there have been expectations that the US central bank would now be flexible with respect to the increases of the interest rates. This is needed because the worries related to the global economic downturn have been impacting the sentiments of the global market trackers. Given the scenario, rates were kept unchanged.
Coming back to company reports for key US players - on January 30, 2019, Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) announced the results for the quarter ended December 2018 (with 9% rise in daily active users on year on year basis), and the market players have been closely tracking the earnings report. Even Tesla reported a mixed set of results. US Tech giant Apple was also noted to report decent set of numbers for the fiscal first quarter, above analysts’ expectations.
Coming back to the European and UK markets, the UK benchmark index FTSE 100 index closed at 6941.63 GBP, up by 1.58% and European stocks benchmark STOXX closed marginally up.
Lately, the British Prime Minister Theresa May won votes of Commons for her Brexit Plan B. She said we are going to renegotiate the Withdrawal deal with Brussels. But the Prime Minister is facing a clash with Brussels after MPs of the House backed her effort to renegotiate the backstop deal.
On January 29, Hargreaves Lansdown’s (HL.L) shares plummeted to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after the investment management company reported fall in asset under management first time in the last seven years. Hargreaves stock fell 4.9 percent on the news of the drop in asset under management, down by 6% on Y-o-Y basis.
On the currency front, the British Pound was trading at 1.31 against USD, up slightly and Euro was trading at 0.88 against British pound.
At the time of writing, International Crude Oil benchmarks were trading higher, Brent Crude was trading at $62.42, and WTI Crude Oil was trading at $54.84, both up on earlier figures.
On LSE, stocks like British American Tobacco Plc (BATS.L), Melrose Industries Plc (MRON.L) and DS Smith Plc (SMDS.L) were among the top performers on the FTSE 100 index and up by 4.84%, 4.12%, and 3.84%, respectively. On the other hand, stocks like Hargreaves Lansdown Plc (HL.L), Hiscox Ltd (HSX.L), and AUTO Trader Group Plc (AUTOA.L) ended the session in red zone, down by 2.61%, 0.76%, and 0.53%, respectively.
On January 30, almost all the sectors on FTSE 100 index closed in green, except Technology. Top performing sectors on FTSE 100 index were Basic Materials, Consumer non-cyclical and Healthcare.
With Bank of England reducing the interest rates to a historic low level, the spotlight is back on diverse investment opportunities.
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