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FTSE 100 opens higher, pressure on BoE to intervene

Stock Markets Sep 26, 2022 08:41
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  • FTSE 100 opens higher, up 22 points
  • Sterling falls to new low
  • Fall in sterling may force Bank to raise rates

8.10am: FTSE 100 opens higher

FTSE 100 opened higher, recovering some of the losses from Friday, but sterling remained under pressure hitting a record low earlier in Asia-Pacific markets before recovering slightly.

By 8.10am the lead index was up 23 points at 7,042 as the weak pound boosted dollar earning companies while the broader FTSE 250 continued to fall, trading down 104 points at 17,868.

The falls in sterling have put more pressure on the Bank of England to intervene and increase interest rates ahead of its next scheduled meeting.

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown (LON:HRGV) said: “The fresh bout of panic appears to have been brought on by rumours that the Bank of England may step in with an emergency rate hike to try and shore up support.”

Oil major, BP PLC (LON:BP.) fell 1% as Brent Crude prices dipped 1.8% and on a reported rating downgrade by JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) to hold from buy.

Pendragon PLC rose 20% after receiving an unsolicited and highly conditional proposal from Hedin Mobility Group regarding a possible cash offer which would value each Pendragon share at 29p.

The group said it was considering the proposal and urged shareholders to take no action at this time.

7.40am: Fall in sterling may force Bank to intervene

Analysts and politicians are suggesting the Bank of England will have to intervene and raise interest rates before its next scheduled meeting to prop up the ailing pound.

Simon Harvey, head of FX analysis at Monex Europe, said: “The risk of the Bank of England intervening has increased sizeably and we now look for an inter-meeting announcement in the early part of this week.”

“The question policymakers will be debating over is how large the interest rate hike needs to be in order to clot the bleed in financial markets.”

“With 75bps quickly priced in for November’s meeting, we’d argue that 50bps will be the minimum needed to turn the tide.”

“The sick irony of this is that the weaker the pound gets, the more expensive the government’s liabilities become.”

Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves told Times Radio: ““I started my career as an economist at the Bank of England and like everyone else I’m incredibly worried about what we’ve seen, both on Friday with market reactions to the chancellor’s so-called mini-budget, and also the reactions overnight.”

“It also puts more pressure on the Bank of England to increase interest rates” she said.

7.15am: Sterling hits new low

Sterling hit a record low against the US dollar in Asia-Pacific trading, extending the losses suffered on Friday, and moving closer to parity, following the min budget on Friday and with the UK chancellor pledging over the weekend to pursue more tax cuts.

The pound plunged nearly 5% at one point to around $1.0327, a record low since at least decimalisation in 1971, as belief in the UK’s economic management and assets evaporated.

The pound’s drop was driven by “growing concerns about the UK’s policy credibility”, says Alvin Tan of RBC Capital Markets.

Tan also flags the speculation that the Bank of England might be forced to raise interest rates to strengthen sterling.

He said: “GBP/USD tumbled to a record low below 1.04. There is also increasing speculation about an emergency BoE rate hike.”

7.00am: FTSE 100 seen slightly higher

FTSE 100 is expected to open slightly higher this morning after a bruising end to last week and despite losses in Asian markets overnight.

Spread betting companies are calling London’s blue-chip index up by around 17 points.

All eyes will be on the pound when the European trading day begins. Sterling fell to an intraday low of US$1.0349 earlier Monday, its worst ever level against the dollar.

In the US on Friday US markets suffered heavy losses at the close, as the CBOE Volatility Index — Wall Street's "fear gauge" — rose above 30.

The S&P 500 lost 1.7% to finish at 3,693 points; the Nasdaq sank 1.8% to hit 10,868 points, and the Dow fell 1.6% to reach 29,590 points - a new 2022 low.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK

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FTSE 100 opens higher, pressure on BoE to intervene
 

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Comments (1)
David Hawley
David Hawley Sep 26, 2022 9:12
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The BoE and this government are running around like headless chickens. One trying to curb inflation and the other trying to feed it. So that there is no confidence that either of them know what they're doing. The BoE have blinkered vision...interest rates and nothing else. And the government are just blind. Back to the days of Thatcher...throw money everywhere (except the less well off). The BoE are not bothered who cuts back on spending as long as somebody does...and it's usually the less well off
 
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