Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news
- Latest: Travel and hospitality shares rally
- UK jobless rate highest in almost five years
- Unemployment rate hit 5.1% in October-December
- But payrolls have risen in last two months, after tumbling in pandemic
- ONS: labour market may be stabilising
Over in the eurozone, inflation has picked up – highlighting the squeeze on living costs as energy prices rise and economies reopen.
Josie Dent of the CEBR think tank explains:
Despite ongoing restrictions in the eurozone placing limits on consumer demand, inflation jumped by 1.2 percentage points between December and January to stand at 0.9%. Higher energy prices and shipping costs drove up the price level in January.
As restrictions are eased heading into summer, we could see demand start to place further upwards pressure on inflation.”
Despite the rally in holiday and hospitality companies, the wider FTSE 100 share index is down 30 points or 0.5% at 6577 points.
Tech companies are under pressures, with online grocer Ocado down 4.3%, internet security firm Avast dropping 4.4% and Scottish Management Investment Trust (which holds stakes in US tech giants) shedding 5%.
“The Nasdaq fell nearly 2.5% as investors dumped names like Apple and Amazon amid growing concerns about rising inflation expectations, the direction of interest rates and how that would put tech stock valuations into question.
Treasury yields rise ahead of Fed Chair Powell’s testimony on the economy https://t.co/rhTbNq4bEB