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FTSE edges lower, retail sales shine

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The FTSE index has posted small losses in the Thursday session. In North American trade, the FTSE is trading at 7,459, down 0.15% on the day. As well, the Bank of England released its quarterly credit conditions survey.

Crisis? What crisis? The turmoil surrounding Britain’s departure from the European Union has led to huge uncertainty as to how the Brexit deadlock will resolve itself, but the FTSE doesn’t seem to be the least bit concerned over Brexit blues. The index has looked spectacular in 2019, gaining 10.4 percent. The FTSE hasn’t lost a beat in April, with strong gains of 2.5 percent. Investors are impressed out how well the British economy has performed, as gloom-and-doom predictions that the economy and the pound would crash after the Brexit vote have proven unfounded. As well, more than 75% of the earnings of the 100 companies listed on the index come from outside the U.K., which has insulated the index from the chaos of Brexit.

Investors are keeping a close eye on this week’s consumer spending and inflation numbers. Retail sales impressed in March, with a strong gain of 1.1 percent. This comes on the heels of inflation releases, with CPI unchanged at 1.9%. This is just below the BoE target of 2.0%, so inflation could be a factor in favor of maintaining interest rates at 0.75% at the next policy meeting in early May.

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Economic Calendar

Thursday (April 18)

  • 4:30 British Retail Sales. Estimate -0.3%. Actual 1.1%
  • 4:30 British BoE Credit Conditions Survey

*All release times are DST

*Key events are in bold

FTSE, Thursday, April 18 at 12:40 DST

Previous Close: 7,459 Open: 7,458 High: 7,437 Low: 7,475 Close: 7,459

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