Investors digest latest rate hikes

29 minutes ago

Consumer Confidence and Retail Sales in UK show monthly upward moves

A monthly consumer confidence survey by GfK showed that UK households became more optimistic in February, with improvements in five metrics tracked, including views on future financial health, ability to finance major purchases and the general economic picture.

“Consumer confidence is still severely depressed in the headlines and sentiment and the economy are still a long way from pre-lockdown levels, but a little consumer resilience may be what we need to cushion a downturn in 2023 ‘ said Joe Staton, client strategy director at GfK, said in the press release.

The slight rebound benefited retailers in February, Gabriella Dickens, senior UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a note.

According to national figures also released on Friday, UK retail sales rose 1.2% mom in February. Print came in above a consensus expectation of 0.2%, beating January’s 0.9% gain.

February retail sales nonetheless fell 3.5% year-on-year. The figure for the three months to February was also 0.3% lower than the previous three months.

The outlook for retail is mixed, Dickens said, as households avoid a 1% drop in disposable income due to the ongoing state-funded cap on energy bills and the suspension of an increase in fuel taxes, as well as increases in the state pension and living wage.

However, they will continue to be affected by other tax measures and the discontinuation of the energy cost subsidy program. Bankruptcy Service figures show a surge in layoffs in the coming months as higher mortgage rates begin to weigh, Dickens added.

– Jennie Reid

Before an hour

European markets will open lower

European stock markets were on track to open lower on Friday, according to data from

The FTSE 100 fell 49 points to 7,451. France’s CAC 40 fell 48 points to 7,086, Germany’s DAX fell 72 points to 15,137 and Italy’s MIB fell 155 points to 25,792.

– Jennie Reid

8 hours ago

CNBC Pro: Wall Street downgrades European banks, names stocks to buy ‘if markets turn sour’

Wall Street downgrades European banks after tensions in the sector led to the emergency merger of two major Swiss banks.

Two investments also upgraded another sector, naming a dozen stocks to own “in case markets go sour.”

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Ganesh Rao

8 hours ago

CNBC Pro: Why a fund manager has never owned a bank stock — and reveals what they’re looking for instead

Some investors are creeping back into bank stocks after last week’s sell-off, but fund manager Ian Mortimer is clearly a distraction.

In fact, he’s never owned a bank stock in any of his funds. He reveals why on CNBC Pro Talks.

Pro subscribers can read more here.

13 hours ago

Treasury Secretary Yellen says emergency measures to support banks could be reinstated if needed

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Thursday that federal emergency measures that halted customers at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank could be reinstated if necessary.

“We have used important tools to act quickly and prevent contagion. And they are tools that we could use again,” Yellen said in written testimony before a budget subcommittee.

“The strong measures we have taken ensure that Americans’ deposits are safe,” she added. “Of course we would be willing to take additional measures if warranted.”

Her comments come as regulators aimed to reassure customers and investors amid the banking crisis fostered by the shutdown of Silicon Valley Bank.

– Alex Harring, Christina Wilkie


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