Saturday, June 22, 2024

Victory for Labour ‘is not in the bag’, say small business bosses – latest updates

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Thanks for joining me. We begin the day with the outlook on the impending general election from business leaders.

The head of the Federation of Small Businesses, which represents more than 500,000 small enterprises and traders, said victory is not in the bag for either party, although they are starting to feel more confident.

5 things to start your day 

1) Traders bet against summer rate cut despite fall in inflation | Looming election and higher-than-predicted price rises push expectations back to November

2) CVC and Abu Dhabi mount £5bn bid for Hargreaves Lansdown | Cheerleader for UK stock market at risk of being taken private

3) Barclay family launches forced sale of Very Group | Dwindling business empire to offload retailer in bid to tackle mounting debts

4) Anglo American agrees to takeover talks with BHP | FTSE mining giant to begin negotiations with rival to find a simpler deal

5) Jeremy Warner: The economic stars aligned for an early election. The Tories had nothing left to lose | Sunak knows all too well that the break in the clouds won’t last forever

What happened overnight 

Several Asian share benchmarks fell as markets digested the implications of policymakers in major economies preferring to take a patient approach to cutting interest rates.

Geopolitical tensions were also at the forefront of investors’ minds as China’s military started two days of “punishment” drills held in five areas around Taiwan just days after new Taiwan President Lai Ching-te took office.

That sent Chinese blue chips falling 0.9pc, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index similarly slid 1.4pc.

In the broader market, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.3pc, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index lost 0.5pc, also hurt by a pullback in some commodity prices.

More hawkish-than-expected minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting, higher than expected UK inflationand a sobering assessment of New Zealand’s inflation problems from the country’s central bank have caused investors to reduce their bets of the pace and scale of global rate cuts expected this year.

In America, the S&P 500 dropped 0.3pc to 5,307.01, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite index declined 0.2pc to 16,801.54. The Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 leading US companies finished down 0.5pc at 39,671.04.

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