Accessibility links

August 14, 2018

Pegler’s market report – 14.08.18: Another volatile week for the currency markets


in Insights Press Releases

As published in the Brighton Argus (14.08.18) Business section under the title Pegler’s Market Report:

Another volatile week for the currency markets

President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey told his citizens to sell their savings held in euros and dollars and buy lira, citing an “economic war” after the country’s currency plummeted to new lows. Concerns are now mounting over the country’s huge burden of dollar-denominated debt and the stability of its banking system.

President Donald Trump tweeted shortly afterwards announcing the doubling of tariffs, adding that the lira was sliding against the “very strong dollar”. The levies will hit the billion dollars’ worth of steel exports Turkey exports to the US each year.

The EuroStoxx Banks index dropped to its lowest level since 2016 on fears of a contagion to the European banking industry. The Spanish and French banks are thought to be the most exposed to Turkish borrowers.

Meanwhile the pound continued to weaken on fears of a no-deal Brexit, falling below $1.28 to its lowest exchange rate for the year against the dollar.

UK growth jumped from 0.2pc to 0.4pc in the second quarter but monthly growth stuttered to just 0.1pc in June. The Office of National Statistics highlighted that retail sales and construction have been helped by the improved weather in the second quarter but warned that “underlying growth remained modest by historical standards”.

There were calls for the UK government to review its decision to accelerate an increase in the state pension age. This followed the release of data showing improvements in life expectancy have slowed.

Nationwide has warned that house prices will stay flat for the rest of the year as the stagnant housing market continues to weigh on the lender’s profits.

G4S shares were down sharply after the world’s largest security company reported a 10.5pc drop in first-half profits. But the group said it was confident of growing momentum in the business.

There was better news for Prudential after announcing decent half-year results. Performance was led by Asia, where the life insurer generated 15pc growth in underlying operating profits.

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has swooped to rescue House of Fraser for £90m on the same day the stricken department store chain appointed administrators.

The sportswear retailer revealed the deal in a brief statement to the London Stock Exchange. Under the agreement it will snap up the House of Fraser brand, assets, and all of its stock. It has yet to explain how many of the chain’s 59 stores will remain open and how many of its 17,500 jobs will be saved.

Elsewhere, Tesla’s chief vehicle engineer has returned to Apple to work on the iPhone giant’s secretive self-driving car project. Doug Field will join former colleagues at the Cupertino company where he held the role of vice president of Mac hardware, Apple has confirmed. Tesla poached Field from Apple in 2013 stating that he had the “leadership and technical talent to develop and deliver outstanding products.” Field was in charge of overseeing the Model 3 production line, which has been plagued with operation glitches.

By David Pegler, Brighton Capital Management

Related articles