The FTSE 350 did not respond at all well to the ongoing economic turmoil on Thursday, as pressure mounts on the UK government.
So, who else has criticised the government’s approach to the economic crisis? The Bank of England, again, contradicting government claims that our woes are all about international economics. German finance minister Christian Lindner has rejected the UK approach. And the Labour Party, of course, which has taken a 33-point lead in the latest YouGov poll.
Oh, and Next has attacked any ‘borrow and spend’ approach. And chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has still not published any Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts.
None of this inspired confidence, and the FTSE 100 plunged 124 points (1.8%) to close Thursday at 6,882. That brief recovery above 7,000 points didn’t last long.
The FTSE 350 closed 75 points (2%) down, on 3,779.
The latest contagion spread to US markets, with the S&P 500 ending Thursday with a 2.1% loss at 3,640 points. The Nasdaq fell 2.8% to 10,738 points.
Economics on Friday
How the UK stock market finishes the week on Friday could well be affected by the day’s economic updates. First thing in the morning, we should have Gross Domestic Product and Current Account figures, and an update to the Nationwide House Price Index.
Mortgage Approvals and Consumer Credit updates should follow.
If those go swimmingly well, maybe UK shares could end the week heading upwards. Betting on that might not be wise, though.
Cineworld is due to release first-half results Friday. The company is well below the FTSE 350 index, valued at just £42m now. But it’s been a big stock market story this year. Shareholders will presumably be looking for updates on any possible rescue plan.
We should also have a trading update from Pennon Group, ahead of first-half results due on 30 November.
A few dividend payments will be going out Friday, including a final dividend to Redde Northgate shareholders.
It’s also interim payment date for Admiral Group, Antofagasta, Imperial Brands and Alliance Trust. Alliance Trust has raised its dividend every year for the past 55 years.
The oil price had been falling this week, but it picked up a little on Thursday. Still, it remains under $90 for a barrel of Brent Crude, which is way down from the summer’s highs. That doesn’t seem to be having any effect on our energy bills, sadly.