Economic news

FTSE Rallies on Hopes of Fiscal Plan Reversal

  • UK equities trim weekly losses
  • Royal Mail warns of 5,000-6,000 job cuts
  • Ashmore slips on reporting fall in AUM
  • FTSE 100 up 0.9%, FTSE 250 adds 0.9%

Oct 14 (Reuters) - UK's main indexes jumped on Friday, on growing expectations that the UK government will announce a U-turn on elements of its 43-billion-pound package of unfunded tax cuts that sparked turmoil in financial markets over the past few weeks.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 gained 0.9%, while the domestically focussed FTSE 250 added 0.9%. Both indexes have recouped a large part of their losses this week but remain on track to record their fourth weekly decline in five.

The pound eased slightly, but held near a one-week peak, following news that British finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng left Washington early amid reports that Prime Minister Liz Truss is considering reversing more of her government's "mini-budget". 

"There is a sense of urgency in this move, and it would seem the market is optimistic that Kwarteng's dash through the airport suggests a dramatic reconciliation between stubborn existing policy and the U-turn investors have been waiting for," said Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

"If U-turns fail to materialise, or are deemed too small, we're likely to see an adverse reaction."

The Bank of England's emergency bond purchases –– to protect pension funds caught up in the market chaos sparked by Kwarteng's tax cuts announced last month –– are due to end on Friday.

Meanwhile, Wall Street's main indexes rallied on Thursday, staging a stunning turnaround from losses earlier after hot inflation data had triggered worries about a hawkish Federal Reserve.

However, futures point to a weak start for U.S. stocks on Friday, with investors nervously awaiting quarterly reports from big Wall Street banks.

Among single stocks, International Distributions Services fell 13.7% after it said that unit Royal Mail could cut as many as 5,000 to 6,000 jobs by the end of August next year. 

Emerging markets-focussed investment group Ashmore dipped 2.6% after reporting an $8 billion fall in assets under management for the September quarter. 

Amigo Holdings Plc surged 37.6% after the sub-prime lender said it has received approval from Britain's financial regulator to return to lending under certain conditions. 

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza

Source: Reuters

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