Fed and Shell push markets lower

The Federal Reserve statement and Shell's numbers have sent the FTSE into reverse.

Janet Yellen talking
Source: Bloomberg

US interest rates may have been left unchanged last night but the tweaking of the statement has boosted the hopes of those expecting a rate hike in December, with stock markets moving down and some moves higher in the US dollar.

Shell’s figures have seen the shares lose 1.4% as the firm is compared with better figures from BP and Total; the $8.6 billion hit in one-off costs and weak quarterly numbers have taken some of the shine off this oil giant.

Barclays has shot lower as the bank begins to tot-up the costs of ring-fencing and the ongoing mis-selling of various products, both of which are expected to put a sizeable dent in earnings for the future.

BT shares have punched higher today with  the one-two combination over the last couple of days, as the company confirmed it had been given the green light for its acquisition of EE. Today’s quarterly revenue has also risen by 2%, helped by an extra 106,000 TV subscribers chasing the increased sports coverage that it now offers.

A relatively muted reaction in FX markets to the Fed’s statement suggests, at least, that this part of the market is less convinced that December is any more of a ‘live’ meeting than it was yesterday. Janet Yellen might still like to push the button this year, but the data is not running her way. There is still a chance however that US Q3 GDP figures may ride to her rescue this afternoon.

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow Jones to start 75 points lower, at 17,704.

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