Britain’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.8% in the three months to October, while pay growth picked up to rise to 2.5% according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. The number of people out of work fell by 16000 to 1.62 million but this did not come as a surprise as BoE has warned that unemployment will rise in 2017, as the broader economy slows and businesses grapple with higher costs and waning demand. Average weekly earnings excluding bonuses for workers rose by 2.6% year-on-year in the three months to October, versus 2.4% last month while pay including bonuses rose by 2.5%, up from 2.4%.
Markets in Europe were last seen trading lower today as investors focus on an upcoming rate decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve. It should be noted that analysts expect a rate hike of 25 points basis from the Fed with the announcement set to be released just after European markets close today at 19:00 GMT. Meanwhile, Moody’s updated its outlook on Italian banks from “stable” to “negative” on Tuesday on an ever weakening in confidence in the system. In today’s European stock indices trading Germany’s DAX lost 0.2 percent, U.K.’s FTSE 100 plunged 0.3 percent, France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.5 percent while the Euro Stoxx 50 was last seen trading 0.4 percent lower as of 10:00 GMT.
Oil prices tumbled on Wednesday after a reported rise in U.S. crude inventories and a renewed estimate that OPEC may have produced more crude in November than previously thought, which in turn will potentially undermine the planned output cut. The surprise increases in U.S. crude inventories and the anticipated U.S. interest rate hike, will support the dollar and make dollar-traded fuel imports more expensive for countries using other currencies. In today’s energy markets, Crude oil futures were last seen trading 1.2 percent lower at $52.33 while Brent oil futures tumbled 1.1 percent to last trade at $55.09 as of 10:00 GMT.
Asian shares wobbled on Wednesday with investors remaining largely on the sidelines ahead of what is expected to be the Federal Reserve’s first rate hike in a year. In today’s Asian Markets, Japan’s Nikkei traded flat, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.7 percent for the day to close at 5584.62, China’s A50 closed 0.4 percent lower while Hang Seng closed flat at 22456.62. India’s Nifty also plunged 0.5 percent for the day to close at 8183.90.