FTSE 100 marginally lower, USD falls, gilt yields jump, bitcoin bounces



© Reuters.

By Samuel Indyk

  • down 0.1%, DS Smith jumps on takeover chatter
  • EUR strong against GBP and USD
  • UK jumps 7bps
  • steady above $50,000

Investing.com – The FTSE 100 ended the trading day slightly lower with a familiar theme taking hold. Miners were strong again in the wake of higher metals prices, in particular which surged to an almost 10 year high of $4.34 per lb. Anglo American (LON:) reported earnings pre-market and they were generally received despite a slight decline in EBITDA in 2020. Nevertheless, the company still boosted their dividend to $0.73 per share, up from last year’s $0.53 per share dividend last year.

Paper and packaging company was the best performing stock in the index after the company is reportedly a takeover target from rival Mondi (LON:). A deal would reportedly value DS Smith at over £5bln but both companies refused to comment on a potential deal.

Propping up the index was Standard Chartered (LON:) after their earnings report. Pre-tax profit dropped 57% in 2020 to $1.6bln as the company took credit impairments of $2.3bln, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bonds

A rout in Gilts and their US counterparts continued on Thursday with the UK 10-year yield briefly moving above 0.8%. Analysts at ING say there is scope for a further sell off and if US yields continue to push higher, gilts could touch 1%. The move in global yields comes amid an improving outlook given the efficacy of various Covid vaccines and as economies begin to talk of reopening.

FX

The EUR was strong with breaking back above 1.2200 and trading at five week highs. The single currency was also strong against GBP as made a move away from its 12-month low hit in yesterday’s trading session.

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Cryptocurrency News

Bitcoin steadied after a volatile few days but remained above $50,000. Cryptocurrency exchange made public its S-1, revealing its financials for the first time. The company had $1.3bln of revenue in 2020, mainly from transaction fees from its 43mln verified users.

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