Bank of England Raises Rates

European indices provided weak leads for the US overnight as the FTSE 100 closed down 1% on trade concerns while the Dax index closed 1.5% lower. This caused both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 to open down although these losses were recouped throughout the session. The Dow eventually closed flat while the S&P 500 was up 0.5%, a 1% turnaround from the open. The best performing S&P 500 sector was technology, reflected in the fact that the Nasdaq 100 climbed 1.4% overnight which included a 2.9% gain in Apple (AAPL) stock. This brings AAPL to a $1tn market capitalisation, the first public US company to reach such a milestone. After a weak few days for the ASX 200, futures are up 21 points this morning.

As expected, the Bank of England raised rates by 0.25% to 0.75%, the second rate rise in this cycle. The hike was taken as slightly more hawkish than expected do to the unanimity of the vote, 9-0. It had been expected in the lead-up that one or two of the voting members would dissent. The Bank sees the weak first quarter GDP as an outlier and expects that inflationary pressures will continue to build.

Today Australia releases retail sales data while the US releases its monthly employment data. Retail sales are expected to grow at 0.3%, slightly below the 0.5% of the prior month. Retail sales data so far this year has painted a picture of a sector that is neither racing along nor lagging behind. US employment data is expected to show 191,000 new jobs were created and the unemployment rate declining to 3.9%, from 4.0%.   

Data Releases:

-    Australia Retail Sales 11:30am AEST

-    US Employment Data 10:30pm AEST

This article was written by William O'Loughlin - Investment Analyst, Rivkin Securities Pty Ltd. Enquiries can be made via or by phoning +612 8302 3633.

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