Business News

Stock markets rise on US confidence boost

London, July 18 (AFP/APP):Stock markets largely rose on Wednesday, tracking an overnight Wall Street rally after the Federal Reserve chief expressed confidence in the US economy despite global trade war fears.
In foreign exchange, the pound slid to a 2018 low at $1.3010 on slightly receding prospects of a UK interest-rate hike next month after British inflation undershot expectations.
“It seems every time the Bank of England peers through an open window of opportunity to lift UK rates, economic and political headwinds blow it shut again,” traders London Capital Group said in a client note.
The pound has taken a knock this week also from uncertainty surrounding the future of British Prime Minister Theresa May as she struggles to unite a divided Conservative Party over the government’s Brexit strategy.
Across the Atlantic, Fed chief Jerome Powell on Tuesday offered a positive US outlook, citing a strong job market and inflation figures in line with the central bank’s targets, sending stocks higher.