FTSE struggles to keep pace Europe

Markets are still trying to assess the implications following this morning’s UK economic data releases.

Today’s figures offer a clear picture of how the UK employment market has developed over the last couple of years. With the UK's unemployment level dropping to 7.7%, it will add to those voices asking if there will be a rethink of the Bank of England’s interest rate timetable.

The flip-side of these figures has been slower-than-expected growth in UK average earnings, which have failed to keep pace with the rate of inflation in the last five years. Although the level of unemployment in the UK is relatively low, the nation’s earning power, and therefore spending power, has been aggressively reduced over this time.

Following last night’s new product launch from Apple, its shares will again be the focus for many investors as the US opens. Directly affected by the latest developments from the phone giant has been UK-quoted ARM Holdings, the chip manufacturer of choice for all the biggest phone manufacturers. So far today it is up 5%, and will no doubt react to the performance of Apple this afternoon.

Tesco looks like it has just about managed to get rid of its US arm, Fresh & Easy. After six years of losses, few will be sorry to see the back of this failed venture.

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