Connect with us


US inflation gauge hits lowest level in nearly three years



Thanks for joining us. We begin with fresh data indicating the recession may already be over, as businesses plan to increase staffing levels in nearly two years.

Lloyds Bank’s latest Business Barometer showed  onfidence has remained well above average in the first two months of 2024.

5 things to start your day 

1) Embracing AI is the only way to cut civil service jobs, says Deputy PM | Cabinet Office unveils £110m plans to speed up ‘dogsbody’ work in public sector

2) Asda’s private equity backer snaps up stake in UK pet shop | Announcement triggers 3pc fall in rival Pets at Home’s share price

3) Boeing has 90 days to show how it will meet safety and quality standards, says US regulator | The aeroplane manufacturer has been trying to draw a line under a safety scare

4) Why Britain’s state pension time bomb is about to explode | Paying for a wave of retirement is no longer a problem politicians can ignore

5) Sunak pledges to retain triple lock for millions of pensioners | PM will commit to keeping the policy in the Tory Party manifesto if he wins election

What happened overnight 

Asian stocks were mostly weaker ahead of crucial US inflation data that could provide fresh clues on when the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates.

Japan’s key Nikkei index closed down 0.1pc, or 41.84 points, to end at 39,166.19, while the broader Topix index ended flat at 2,675.73.

However, Chinese stocks rebounded from Wednesday’s sharp decline to keep them on track for their best month since November 2022.

Meanwhile, cryptocurrency bitcoin fluctuated around $61,400 following a three-day, 24pc ascent that brought it to a more than two-year peak at $63,933.

Investors are wary ahead of the release later in the day of the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the personal consumer expenditures (PCE) price index, after dialling back bets for a first rate cut to June. At the start of the year, wagers were on March.

Thursday also sees inflation data from German states, France and Spain, ahead of the eurozone’s figures on Friday.

South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.5pc, while Taiwan and Australia benchmarks were flat.

In Wall Street, the S&P 500 slipped 0.2pc, to 5,069.76, continuing its quiet and listless run since setting a record last week. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 leading American companies dipped 0.1pc, to 38,949.02. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite index sank 0.5pc, to 15,947.74 a day after pulling within 0.1pc of its record set in 2021.

In the bond market, the yield on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bonds slipped to 4.26pc from 4.31pc late on Tuesday.

Continue Reading