Markets finish the week on a sour note

Heading into the close the FTSE 100 is stuck in the red, down 25 points as caution persists ahead of a busy week. 

Source: Bloomberg
  • Markets continue to creep lower as the week winds down
  • US producer prices rise in August
  • JD Wetherspoon shares hold steady

Stock markets have continued their drift lower for yet another day, with some US economic data providing further reason for investors to trim positions at the end of a choppy week. While the FTSE 100 has ended fractionally higher for the week, the failure to make progress indicates how buying pressure has generally dissipated as we head towards the crucial Federal Reserve decision next Thursday.

Factory-gate prices in the US rose last month, as data this afternoon showed, and while this hardly warrants a rate move by itself, it has been filed away with other data that supports the first rise in US interest rates since 2006. The FTSE’s failure to break through 6200 has been a combination of China nerves, Fed worries and a general lack of really good corporate news.

With more figures from China due over the weekend, it promises to be an interesting week.

Pub groups and retailers were always going to be some of the first to feel the effects of the government’s planned rise in wages, and JD Wetherspoon is ideally placed to comment. While the chairman is entirely free to comment, I suspect that the inability of the share price to get beyond £8 this year is down to wider scepticism about prospects for big pub groups and not just worries about higher pay for pub staff.

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