US stocks gain on improved retail sales data

The FTSE has traded in the red once again, but we are seeing a stronger start to the day on the other side of the pond after a pickup in US retail sales.

  • FTSE in the red once again, while US stocks rise
  • Trump accuses Russia and China of currency manipulation
  • US retail sales boost perks up 2018 expectations

London continues to underperform as we begin a new week, with the FTSE 100 closing out in the red while US stocks push upwards. A series of coalition strikes in Syria brought about a somewhat choppy day for crude prices, with US President Donald Trump satisfied that the series of strikes over the weekend has provided the necessary deterrent to the Syrian regime. However, just when markets believed the tensions between the US and Russia were set to improve, Trump today accused Russia and China of currency manipulation, maintaining a focus on his two favourite sparring partners. In a period that has seen Russian associated firms suffer given the imposition of a raft of sanctions it comes as
 no surprise that we have seen Russian-owned steel producer Evraz shedding 7% over the course of today’s session.

US consumer data continues to improve, with the March retail sales figures providing a welcome boost for the first quarter economic outlook. With 2017 hurricane season proving the most expensive in US history, we are seeing spending rise in a bid to repair and replace damaged homes. With consumer confidence rising, and the impact of the tax reforms gradually taking hold, it is likely that we will see a greater confidence from US shoppers to invest in big ticket and luxury goods as we move through 2018.

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