Authorization

US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

US Federal Reserve cutsbenchmark interest rate for the second time this year
The committee lowered the policy interest rate by 25 basis points to a target range of 1.75pc to 2pc
Three out of10 officials vote against rate cut decision
Trump says US will substantially increase sanctions on Iran after Saudi oil attack
In UK, inflation cools while house prices shrink across four regions including London
8:26PM
Fed wrap: that's all folks!
Well that was a busy evening - thanksfor following along!
The Fed quarter pointcut was widely expected - as was Donald Trump's scathing reaction.
Jerome Powell responded to the criticism saying that he wasnot going to change his practice of not responding to comments from elected officials.
Fed Chair Powell on Trump Criticism:
- I continue to believe that the independence of the Federal Reserve has served the public over time DailyFX Team Live (@DailyFXTeam) September 18, 2019
US markets extended their losses on the back of the news but later recovered some ground. Let's see what tomorrow has in store...
Join Louis Ashworth bright and early tomorrow morning!
8:18PM
What else Powell has said...
Here are a few interesting lines from Mr Powell this evening...
The Fed would use all tools if it came to it
We dont see a recession, were not expecting a recession
When we think we've done enough, we will stop lowering rates
We feel were doing the best job we can to serve the American people
FED'S POWELL SAYS FED WILL STOP CUTTING INTEREST RATES "WHEN WE THINK WE'VE DONE ENOUGH" Redbox Global (@RedboxWire) September 18, 2019
8:10PM
"Fed cut doesn't quite cut it"
The Fed needs to do more, saysTim Foster of Fidelity International.

After raising rates nine times in the past four years, the Fed kicked off the wave of global central bank easing with their dramatic dovish pivot in January. But simple rate cuts now rather old-fashioned compared to the ECBs comprehensive and complicated package of easing measures last week.
This simplicity could change soon, though, as the Feds toolkit for monetary policy proves increasingly ineffective against upward pressure on money market rates.
"The balance sheet unwind (quantitative tightening) has finished, but the rapid pace of US government borrowing (in the short term), and growth in cash in circulation means that reserve balances will continue to fall.
"This makes US money market rates harder to control: repo rates rose sharply earlier this week and the effective Fed Funds rate rose above the target band yesterday, while the New York Fed started special open market operations to try to bring rates down.
8:01PM
Powell says "trade policyisnt our responsibility"
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

In response to a question on the US-Chinatrade war, Powell says: "Trade policy is weighing on the outlook."
He adds that the Federal Reserve cant give businesses a settled road map for global trade but that it does have tools to help companies which allows it to support job creation and give consumers the confidence to buy items such as durable goods.
7:55PM
Fed on repo rate...
Someone has asked: Whats caused the sudden jump in the repo rate this week, and are you worried?
MrPowell that he is no worries and that the jump in the repo rate wascaused by tax billsand the cost of settling bond purchases.
#Fed's Powell on Repo blowout: Market response to funding issues was surprising. Fed well aware of potential funding pressures. We will revisit question of when to grow balance sheet. Repo Overnight Rate remains > Fed's upper bound. pic.twitter.com/be2KARmNdc Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) September 18, 2019
And as we said in our preview- Fed saying it paid no attention to repo shenanigans re this monetary policy decision Neil Wilson (@marketsneil) September 18, 2019
7:47PM
Jerome Powell is opening up the floor for questions...
In his statement Mr Powell brushed off concerns about a cash crunch in US financial markets.
He said the need to pay quarterly tax payments was a factor, which prompted the New York Federal Reserve Bank twice this week to inject liquidity into the short-term funding market.
He said: "While these issues are important for market functioning and market participants, they have no implications for the economy or the stance of monetary policy".
7:43PM
US stocks extend losses after Fed decision
The Dow Jones industrial average is down 0.7pc at 26,919.96while the S&P 500 is0.74pc lower to 2,983.55.
The Nasdaq is 1.14pc down to 8,092.84.
Stocks lower as only 7 of 17 Fed officials project another rate cut in 2019. Very different views on what the US economy needs inside the FOMC... pic.twitter.com/tY3jJKKj9r Caroline Hyde (@CarolineHydeTV) September 18, 2019
7:36PM
The press conference is now live...
$USDJPY #FOMC | Feds Powell: Cut Rates To Keep Economy Strong, Provide Insurance Against Risk
- Trade Tensions Have Waxed And Waned
- Job Market Remains Strong, Seen Solid Job Gains In Recent Months
- Cites Slower Growth Abroad, Trade Tensions For Weak Investment LiveSquawk (@LiveSquawk) September 18, 2019
$USDJPY #FOMC | Feds Powell: Infl. Pressures Clearly Remain Muted
- Inflation Still Expected To Rise Towards 2% Target
- Mindful Below Target Infl. Could Pull Infl. Expectations Lower LiveSquawk (@LiveSquawk) September 18, 2019
You can watch it live here
7:32PM
Additional cuts has the potential to do more harm than good - do you agree?
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

"This action has the potential to do more harm than good," saysDr Kerstin Braun of Stenn Group.

"With open global markets, capital moves in and out quickly in massive volumes. These volumes negate the impact of short-term interest rate changes on the real economy.
"Real capital growth and real economic activity are driven by long-term interest rates, which are functions of expected future inflation and investor confidence. Thats why a cut in short-term rates is unlikely to fuel business investment and manufacturing.
"Uncertainty around the global economy and the impact of the trade war has killed any appetite to invest. Weve had relatively low rates for some time already, and theyve spurred stock buybacks rather than huge corporate investment."
7:26PM
Donald Trump isn't happy
The President is not at all satisfied. He says the Federal Reserve has "no guts, no sense, no vision!"
Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve Fail Again. No guts, no sense, no vision! A terrible communicator! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
7:20PM
So what exactly did the Fed say...
Here's a short snippet from the Fed statement...

"Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in July indicates that the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate.
"Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. Although household spending has been rising at a strong pace, business fixed investment and exports have weakened.
"On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2 percent.
"Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed."
7:14PM
Economic projections and Dot Plot
$USDJPY | #FOMC Economic Projections & Dot Plot https://t.co/LzqY3A9J6P pic.twitter.com/8yDm1bb1Uf LiveSquawk (@LiveSquawk) September 18, 2019
7:09PM
Reaction on Fed cut
Let's get some reaction on the Fed decision...
Richard Carter of Quilter Cheviot says:

The decision by the Fed to cut interest rates by 0.25pcwas largely as expected. Donald Trump would like them to have done more judging by his regular rants on Twitter but the US economy remains in fairly good shape and there is no sign of an imminent recession so a cautious approach makes sense.
"We are likely to see more gradual interest rate cuts over the course of the year though as the US China trade war continues to hinder the global economy.

While Neil Wilson of Markets.com tweets:
Hawkish cut ..? Neil Wilson (@marketsneil) September 18, 2019
7:05PM
More on the Fed...
The decision lowers the Fed funds rate to 1.75pc-2pc.
It is the second cut in less than two months.
The US Federal Reservewas divided, with threeof the 10 officials voting against rate cut decision
One official wanted a deeper cut and the other two wanted to leave rate unchanged
US Fed points to 'weakened' business investment, exports
You can read the full statement here
7:00PM
Fed cuts rates
The US Federal Reserve hascut key interest rates by a quarter point as was widely expected, citing "uncertainties".
$USDJPY | #FOMC Cuts Benchmark Rate By 25Bps; Target Range Stands At 1.75% - 2.00%
- Cuts Interest Rate On Excess Reserves To 1.80% From 2.10% LiveSquawk (@LiveSquawk) September 18, 2019
6:41PM
Oil prices still falling
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Oil prices have continued to tumble today after last weekend's attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Oil spiked on Monday in reaction to the news but tumbled yesterday.
Brent Crude is down 0.97pc to $63.52 per barrel.
Markets Hub I Brent Spot
6:28PM
Tesco boss Dave Lewis says no to chlorinated chicken
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Tesco balks at the thought of chlorine-washed chicken
The boss of Tesco has ruled out the sale of chlorine-washed chicken if the UK strikes new trade deals with the US after Brexit.
Dave Lewis, who has been striving to turn the grocer's fortunes aroundsince joining in 2014, said: "There's no US sourcing of chicken on my mind. Whatever thetrade deals are ... what we won't do is give up our standards as we look at those opportunities. The feedback that comes back from the UK customeris 'I prefer not to have it'. By and large, UK customers reject that idea."
Read Laura Onita's full report here
6:12PM
Airbus informs Germany about potential wrongdoings
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Airbus has informed German authorities about potential wrongdoings by several employees with respect to certain customer documents relating to two future German procurement projects in the program line Communications, Intelligence and Security, according to an emailed statement.
The company has also forecast that 39,210 new passenger and freighter aircraft will be needed over the next 20 years, up from the previous prediction of 37,400.
The pan-European aircraft business - which makes the wings for its airliners at Broughton in Wales - says about 25,000 will be needed for growth in the air travel industry, down from the 26,500 it forecast last year, with the remaining 14,210 being replacements for older aircraft.
5:55PM
Just over an hour to go...
We have just over an hour until we hear from Jerome Powell.
Stay with us until then to keep up-to-date with what else is happening in the world of business.
US stocks are trading lower at the moment with the Dow Jones 0.31pc down to 27,023.596 and the S&P 50 0.32pc behind at 2,9963.04.
Markets Hub - S&P 500
5:40PM
More on Ineos...
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

How Ineos's new factory in Bridgend will look - work has already begun on the site
Stuart Apperley of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said Ineos move into automotive "is a welcome tonic for the sector".

He added: While the timing may be seen as bold, Ineos presence should provide a major boost for the economy in South Wales. With Aston Martin now operating nearby in St Athan, there is the potential to create a high-value manufacturing cluster in the area, with all the positive knock-on benefits that would bring for the jobs market and development of the supply chain.
5:28PM
Ineos dismisses Brexit fears by revving up plans to make Land Rover rival in Wales
My colleague Alan Tovey writes:
Sir Jim Ratcliffes dream of building a spiritual successor to the Land Rover Defender is moving closer to reality with confirmation that the vehicle will be built in Wales.
The billionaire founder of chemicals giant Ineos confirmed ?600m of investment, including an entirely new factory in Bridgend to produce a rugged, utilitarian 4x4 called the Grenadier.
The new plant is expected to employ 200 staff when production starts in 2021, rising to 500 as output ramps up to an annual target of 25,000 vehicles in the medium term.
Read more here
5:16PM
MPs demand clarity on Mark Carney's successor at Bank of England
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Mark Carney leaves the Bank of England on January 31 but reports suggest he could be asked to stay on
Chancellor Sajid Javid has come under pressure from MPs to say when he will appoint a new Bank of England Governor amid fears of a delay in filling the vital role.
The call from the Treasury select committee follows reports that Mark Carneys successor may not be named until after a general election, and that the Canadian could be asked to stay on if Brexit is delayed.
Read Russell Lynch's full report here
5:07PM
Trump evokes California's stricter emission rules
President Trump has taken to Twitter again...
The Trump Administration is revoking Californias Federal Waiver on emissions in order to produce far less expensive cars for the consumer, while at the same time making the cars substantially SAFER. This will lead to more production because of this pricing and safety...... Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
....far safer and much less expensive. Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business. Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
4:45PM
European stocks mixed on close
London's benchmark FTSE 100 closed 0.09pc lower at7,314.05 while themore domestically-focused FTSE 250 closed 0.07pc higher at 20,054.43.
Frankfurt and Paris stocks closed marginally higher but Wall Street is currently in the red ahead of tonight's guidance from Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell.
European Closing Prices:#FTSE 7314.05 -0.09%#DAX 12389.62 +0.14%#CAC 5620.65 +0.09%#MIB 21947.7 +0.67%#IBEX 9031.7 +0.31%#STOXX 3528.04 +0.19% IGSquawk (@IGSquawk) September 18, 2019
Markets Hub I FTSE 100
4:37PM
Good afternoon!
Hi everyone. Thanks for staying with us today,I'll be taking you into the evening as we head ever closer to the Fed decision.
Richard Flax, chief investment officer at Moneyfarm, says:

In the bond market, a steepening yield curve usually means that future growth is expected to be stronger than today. On the equity side, you could argue that when growth is scarce, investors are prepared to pay more for faster growing businesses.
"That leaves value stocks unloved and ignored. But, if growth is stronger and the rising tide lifts all boats, then maybe investors will look for unloved, cheap stocks that will benefit the most from a broad acceleration.
"So maybe, just maybe, all the doom and gloom about the US economy is a bit overplayed. Probably not overplayed enough to prevent the Fed from cutting rates this week, but enough to keep bond yields higher than they have been.
4:32PM
Handover
With just under three hours to go until the Federal Reserve finishes its meeting and make an announcement on rates, time for me to hand over the blog.
In case you have somehow avoided my attempts to plug this piece, heresfive things to watch out for from the decision.
LaToya Hardingwill be taking over, and bringing you all the news and reaction as it happens this evening.
Ill be back tomorrow morning, when we will have Bank of England excitement and some potential Brexit news depending on how things are looking at the Supreme Courts. See you then! Louis
4:15PM
Analyst: Trump Iran tariff threat unsurprising
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Saudi military spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki displays what he describes as an Iranian cruise missile and drones used in an attack this weekend that targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry, during a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Credit:
Amr Nabil/AP
Reacting to Donald Trumps decision to order further sanctions against Iran, the Economist Intelligence Units Cailin Birch said the Presidents decision was unsurprising, for three reasons:
First, Mr Trump has been very clear in his desire to avoid outright military conflict with Iran
Second, there are few options for targeted military strikes that would not have set of a round of tit-for-tat attacks
Third, a reciprocal strike against Iran's oil infrastructure would be fairly toothless
She concluded:

For that reason, further sanctions on Iran's economy are actually the most effective, most damaging response that the US could take and it helps Mr Trump to achieve his goal of keeping the US out of a complex military conflict in the Middle East.
Mr Trump has a proven track record of imposing tough sanctions prior to negotiations (on foreign policy, trade, nuclear disarmament), in order to boost his leverage. The next round of US sanctions, therefore, do not rule out the possibility that Mr Trump will seek to open talks with Iran in the coming months. However, there is a serious risk that Iran will now refuse this invitation, so as not to begin talks in a position of weakness.
Iran tensions | Read more
4:07PM
Things are still ticking along in the Supreme Court...
...where the lawyers are possibly getting overexcited (Aidan ONeill is speaking for those challenging the prorogation of Parliament):
"We've got the Mother of Parliaments being shut down by the Father of Lies," Aidan O'Neill tells the Supreme Court Matthew Holehouse (@mattholehouse) September 18, 2019
Follow along here:Brexit latest news: Boris Johnson cannot be trusted not to use dirty tricks, Supreme Court hears
4:04PM
TfL: Elizabeth Line still on track for launch by early 2021
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

A walkway for the new Elizabeth Line at Liverpool Street station in London

Credit:
Victoria Jones/PA
In a filing this afternoon, Transport for London has confirmed the Elizabeth Line (also known as Crossrail) is still on track to be opened on time, and within the same funding window. It said:

Crossrail Limited today confirmed to the TfL Board that it remains on track to open the Elizabeth line within the October 2020 to March 2021 window previously identified, and that no additional funding is needed at this time.

It added that Crossrails costs forecasts now contain additional risk contingency provisions, adding:

No additional funding has been requested and through appropriate cost control and risk mitigation strategies, delivery can be achieved within the Financing Package.
Crossrail route and proposed Crossrail 2 route
3:54PM
Quarter of shareholders rebel against Games Workshop chairman
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

One of the iconic Space Marines from Games Workshops Warhammer 40,000 franchise

Credit:
Games Workshop
Over a quarter of investors voted against the re-appointment of Games Workshop chairman Nick Donaldson during its annual general meeting this morning.

The Board notes the result of Resolution 4 (the re-appointment of Nick Donaldson).From our ongoing communications with investors and proxy voting agencies, we understand that the concerns are largely in relation to Mr Donaldson being overboarded in terms of the calls on his time.
The Board will consult with those shareholders who did not vote in favour to understand their views with respect to Mr Donaldsons multiple board commitments.The Board is confident that Mr Donaldson discharges effectively his role as Chairman, notwithstanding his other board commitments.

Mr Donaldson also holds roles at Fulham Shore, which owns Franco Manca and The Real Greek, and Dominos Pizza Poland.
The hobby company is one of the biggest risers on the FTSe 250 today, up more than 3pc.
3:44PM
Saudi Arabia says it has material evidence that Iran was behind oil attack
Over in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Kingdoms defense ministry is displays drones and missiles it says were used in the attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities on Saturday. Saudi Arabia says the weaponry, which has been labelled as Iranian, is material evidence Iran was behind the attack, responsibility for which has been claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Strikes against Saudi oil plants
3:37PM
Reuters: London Metal Exchange to delay ban on tainted metal
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Traders work on the floor of the London Metal Exchange, in London

Credit:
Simon Dawson/REUTERS
An exclusive tale, just over the wires from Reuters. They report:

The London Metal Exchange (LME) will postpone plans to ban metal tainted by human rights abuses until 2025, giving producers three more years to comply with guidelines and the exchange time to rethink its approach, industry sources said.
Under the initial plan announced in April, the exchange had set 2022 as the deadline to bar metal from the LMEs lists of approved brands whose extraction involved abuses such as child labour or which was tainted by corruption.
The initiative to ensure responsible sourcing followed an outcry about cobalt mined by children in Africa.
Two industry sources directly involved with the process said the deadline had been pushed back to 2025 in part because some major producers would not go along with the LME's original plan.

You can read the full report here:London Metal Exchange to delay ban on tainted metal until 2025 sources
3:23PM
Fedex shares stagger after it cuts profit outlook
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

The delivery firm is exposed to global economic worries

Credit:
MARIO ANZUONI/REUTERS
Shares in delivery giant FedEx have dropped sharply since US markets opened, after the company slashed its forecasts blaming a slowdown in the global economy.
In a press conference to discuss earnings late on Tuesday, chief executive Fred Smith said:

The global economy continues to soften and we are taking steps to cut capacity

Shares are down nearly 13pc currently.
Wall Street has opened downbeat more broadly:
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Credit:
Bloomberg TV
3:14PM
Sports Direct writes to business department as auditor appointment deadline passes
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley

Credit:
John Nguyen/JNVisuals
With a week passed (has it only been that long?!) since Sports Directs annual general meeting, the trouble-prone retailerstillhasnt appointed an auditor to replace Grant Thornton.
Although that strictly means that the government should now appoint an accountancy firm to do the job, it looks like Mike Ashleys firm is going to play for time. It said in a statement:

Sports Direct is currently in a tender process for a new auditor, as noted at the Annual General Meeting on 11 September 2019. The company will announce the appointment in due course, following the successful conclusion of that process.
Any formal procedures, particularly in relation to the Companies Act, are being adhered to and Sports Direct can confirm it has written to the Department of BEIS under the terms of the Act.
2:54PM
Tweet: British Airways pilots call off strike next week
Pilots union BALPA tweets...
Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA the pilots have decided to take the responsible course." https://t.co/1bhWunO7H9 BALPA (@BALPApilots) September 18, 2019
In its statement, general secretary Brian Strutton said:

Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this dispute and with no sign of that from BA the pilots have decided to take the responsible course. In a genuine attempt at establishing a time out for common sense to prevail, we have lifted the threat of the strike on the 27th September.
BA passengers rightly expect BA and its pilots to resolve their issues without disruption and now is the time for cool heads and pragmatism to be brought to bear. I hope BA and its owner IAG show as much responsibility as the pilots.
2:51PM
Full report: Kingfishers new boss could split company apart
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Kingfisher owns brands including B&Q

Credit:
CHRIS RATCLIFFE/Bloomberg News
My colleague Laura Onita has a full report on Kingfisher following its first-half results (see 8:32am update). She writes:

The new boss of B&Qs owner could break up the company, its chairman said, as the retailer posted a slump in profits on Wednesday.
Thierry [Garnier] arrives with absolutely no handcuffs, weve asked him to come in and use his knowledge and experience to look at everything. He has complete freedom to decide what he brings to the board. Im ruling nothing in or out at this point, said Kingfisherchairman Andy Cosslett when was asked if a break-up of the business might be on the cards.
You can read more here:New Kingfisher boss could break up the business, chairman says
2:42PM
Bloomberg: Repo rate spike doesnt mean another global funding crisis
If youre struggling with the implications of the US overnight repo rate spike, Bloomberg has put up a good analysis piece (which can be read via Yahoo here). Author Liz Capo McCormick writes:

Fed interventions in the repo market, like the one deployed Tuesday and planned for Wednesday, were commonplace for decades before the crisis. Then they stopped when the central bank changed how it enacted policy by expanding its balance sheet and using a target rate band.
The tumult seen Monday and Tuesday doesnt mean another global funding crisis, even though trouble getting funds through repo a decade ago doomed Lehman Brothers and almost snuffed out the global financial system.
But, many experts say, these wild few days show that theres not enough reserves -- or excess money that banks park at the Fed in the banking system.

If the damage done is extreme enough, the US Federal Reserve might have to undertake some unexpected quantitative easing to to grow its balance sheet, or purchase debt in order to create new reserves.
The Fed funds rate, another measure of borrowing costs, also spiked above the target range about forty minutes ago suggesting the central bank may be losing its grip on some crucial rates.
Economic Intelligence newsletter SUBSCRIBER (article)
2:31PM
WSJ: Huawei banned from global cybersecurity forum
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

The White House has branded Huawei a security risk

Credit:
Hannibal Hanschke/REUTERS
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Chinese tech giant Huawei has been banned from theForum of Incident Response and Security Teams, a major cybersecurity trade event.
The Journal reports:

The step effectively freezes Huawei out of discussions among members of the group over matters such as software glitches. That could slow the companys ability topatch or fix holes in its own systems. Huawei will also no longer have access to sensitive discussions within the groups so-called Special Interest Groups.

The White House has labelled Huawei a threat to national security, saying the phone and telecoms company could be passing sensitive data to the Chinese government.
Huawei 5G storm | Read more
On the topic on national security, Donald Trump has another announcement:
I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. OBrien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
2:24PM
Cobham sale cleared by US consumer watchdog
The sale of Cobham to Advent, which has sparked a UK probe, has avoiding a second blow from the US consumer regulator. In a short note on its website, the Federal Trade Commission said permission from the deal has been granted.
Heres how things stand in the UK:Ministers probe Cobhams ?4bn takeover by Advent on national security fears
2:18PM
Iran sanctions: a quick primer
As a reminder, the current US sanctions on Iran target the countrysenergy, shipping and shipbuilding, and financial sectors.
They were re-introduced in November last year, following the statutory wind-down period following Donald Trumps announcement that the US would pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.
Over 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels were sanctioned immediately, with further action carried out under the auspices of the sanction regime since.The US Treasury says:

The United States is engaged in a campaign of maximum financial pressure on the Iranian regime and intends to enforce aggressively these sanctions that have come back into effect.
#OOTT slides after Trump tweet on sanctions pic.twitter.com/R5gxKsKdch Neil Wilson (@marketsneil) September 18, 2019
2:01PM
Trump: Sanctions on Iran will be raised
Donald Trump has announced (via Twitter, where else?) that economic sanctions on Iran will be increased, without giving further details.
I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran! Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2019
The reaction on energy markets seems to be muted so far, but lets see what happens...
1:58PM
NY Fed injects $75bn into money markets
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York carries out some actions on behalf of the Fed itself

Credit:
Mark Lennihan/AP
The New York Federal Reserve has repeated its first-time-in-a-decade intervention in US money markets as it tries to keep the US repo rate under control. AFP reports:

The New York Federal Reserve Bank intervened in US financial markets Wednesday for a second day, injecting $75bn into money markets to keep interest rates in line with the central banks target range, the bank said in a statement.
Unlike the so-called repo operation on Tuesday, when only $53bn of the offered amount was used, on Wednesday the New York Fed received $80bn in requests for the $75bn offered.

The repo rate currently stands as around 2.4pc still higher than targets.
1:41PM
US housing starts and building permits both beat expectations
Some more economic data from across the Atlantic, with just over five hours until Fed time: housing starts and building permits have both beaten expectations, a potentially healthy sign for the countrys construction sector.
Decent housing data from the US.

US building permits (August): 1.41 million vs 1.3 million expected, prior 1.31 million

US housing starts (August): 1.36 million vs 1.25 million expected, prior 1.21 million (revised from 1.19 million) David Madden (@dmadden_CMC) September 18, 2019
1:31PM
Lloyds of London rides investments to get back to black
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

The iconic Lloyds building, at the heart of the Square Mile

Credit:
BEN STANSALL/AFP
Storied insurance market Lloyds of London bounced back to a profit in the first half of the year, as its investments paid off and it avoided the natural disaster damage that had marked 2017 and 2018. My colleague Harriet Russell reports:

The 330-year old insurance market reported interim pre-tax profits of ?2.3bn, afterenjoying decent returns from equity investments andfrom fixed interest assets in the wake of falling US and UK bond yields.
Last year Lloyds told its members to cut back the worst performing 10pc of their businesses in a drive to improve overall performance.
Lloyds chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown said the market still had a job to do to improve underwriting returns after contribution to profits from this segment fell from ?500mto ?100m.
You can read her full report here:Lloyds of London market bounces back into the black
12:54PM
Gold hovers near $1,500 ahead of Fed decision
The price of gold is just barely above $1,500 an ounce the psychologically-significant figure it beat last month amid trade-war worries. The precious metal tends to strengthen amid uncertainty, as it is seen as a safe-haven asset for investors to hold. That means it could move either way later today, based on how the Federal Reserve acts.
12:43PM
Full report: South East drags house price growth to seven-year low
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Sold and For Sale signs
House price growth is at its lowest since September 2012, according to official figures

Credit:
Yui Mok/PA
Heres Economics Editor Russell Lynch with the full details on this mornings house price figures:

Average UK house prices rose just 0.7pc in the year to July the weakest performance since September 2012 driven largely by flagging markets in the more expensive South East and London,according to Land Registry data. The Registry said the southern market had witnessed a sustained slowdown.
The average UK home now costs ?233,000 ?2,000 more than in July 2018 but the modest overall gain disguiseshuge variances within regional markets.
The figures showed four areas the North East, South East, London and eastern England where prices are falling outright. Over July alone, prices fell 0.3pc across the country.
You can read his full report here:Struggling South East drags house price growth to lowest since 2012
12:31PM
Ben Marlow: Sirius Minerals Yorkshire mine plans are finished
With miner Sirius Minerals in the pits once more (see 11:38am update), investors and analysts are struggling to see any chance to the company finding the light again. Chief city commentator Ben Marlow writes:

It is a great shame to see an ambitious project like this derailed. Sirius planned to dig two 5,000-foot mine shafts and build a 23-mile tunnel to transport the potash to Teesside, where it would be shipped to countries all over the world.
It would have beenone of the biggest engineering projects being undertaken anywhere in Britain, creating 4,000 jobs, in a region where unemployment is among the worst in the country...
...Surely this is the sort of project that Brexit Britain is crying out for?
Sirius minerals - Teeside location
His conclusion, however, is that Sirius cant go forward from here, saying the company may have vanished down the black hole for good
You can read his full thoughts here:Sirius Mineralsdreams to turn North Yorkshire into a global mining hub are dead and buried
City Intelligence (SUBSCRIBER) Article
11:52AM
Eddie Stobart confirms it has received takeover offer
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Eddie Stobart is perhaps best known for its fleet of green lorries

Credit:
Eddie Stobart/PA
In a filing this morning, beleaguered haulage firm Eddie Stobart told the City it has recieved a highly preliminary expression of interest from a group controlled by Andrew Tinkler.
The offer, made through the vehicle TVFC (3) Limited, follows news that investor DBAY is also considering making a bid for the company, shares in which are suspended following an accounting issue.
Eddie Stobart said:

The company emphasis that there can be no certainty either that an offer will be made nor as to the terms of any offer, if made. A further announcement will be made when appropriate.
11:46AM
Full report: Families given a hand by lowest inflation since 2016
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Clothes shops are keeping more discounts in store even as they launch new autumn ranges, keeping prices low as they battle to entice customers through the doors

Credit:
Mike Kemp/Getty Images Contributor
Deputy economics editor Tim Wallace has a full report on this mornings inflation figures. He writes:

Cheaper clothes, toys and petrol helped pull inflation down to 1.7pc in August, its weakest annual pace since December 2016.
Sharply lower inflation is great news for the UK economy. Along with soaring earnings, low inflation boosts consumer spending power just when the economy needs it, said Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte.
Clothes prices are down 0.9pc year on year as retailers keep on discounting despite the launch of new autumn collections in the shops,in an effort to keep customers coming through the doors...
...Wages rose by 4pc in the 12 months to July, so households spending power is rising at a rate not seen since July 2016, before the fall in the pound pushed up prices.
You can read more here:Cheaper clothes, toys and petrol give families a hand with lowest inflation since 2016
11:42AM
European shares at the bright side of flat
The gains arent going to set the world on fire, but European stocks are in the green across the board, with the FTSE getting some help from a weak pound as some domestically-focused stocks suffer particularly housebuilders.
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Credit:
Bloomberg TV
11:38AM
Sirius shares stagger again amid funding crisis
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

Sirius Minerals will now launch a strategic review and will slow down work at the Woodsmith mine near Whitby
Sirius Minerals is back as the FTSE 250s biggest faller as it continues to battle a funding crisis that may see the miner go under.
Shares are off 14pc, having lost over half their value during Tuesdays session.
As Jon Yeomans reported yesterday:

The FTSE 250 company warned that it had beenunable to sell a $500m (?400m) junk bondit needed to unlock $2.5bn in debt financing from JPMorgan, throwing the future of its ambitious scheme to mine under the North York Moors into doubt.Up to 1,200 jobs are at risk as Sirius has only enough cash to last six months.
It will wind down construction work at its site near Whitby as it desperately seeks alternative financing or a partner to save the mine.
11:19AM
NIESR: Companies may be waiting for Brexit outcome to adjust prices
TheNational Institute Of Economic and Social Research have offered their assessment of this mornings inflation figures. Senior economist Jason Lennard said:

Consumer price inflation was lower than expected at 1.7 per cent in the year to August 2019. Our analysis of 130,000 goods and services included in the basket suggests that fewer firms raised prices than is typical for this time of year. Firms are probably waiting to see beyond 31 October before adjusting prices. The slowing of inflation was widespread, falling in 10 of the 12 regions of the United Kingdom with the biggest drops in Northern Ireland and Wales.
11:08AM
Jeremy Warner: National Grid needs bold policy action but not to be nationalised
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

As operator of the electricity transmission network, National Grid will play a key role in the coming energy transition

Credit:
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP
In his column today, the Telegraphs Jeremy Warner has taken a look at National Grid, as it treads the tough path to reach net zero carbon emissions. Jeremy writes:

Uncertainty over Brexit hangs like a cloud over previously supportive international sentiment. But in Grids case, it is more specific than that. Unpredictable politics has fuelled suspicion of the regulatory regime, with trust in its governance collapsing alongside trust in politics.
Labour plans to renationalise the electricity industry, including National Grid, act as a further deterrent. The curiosity here is that like the pound sterling, the more the present Government disintegrates, the more the share price rebounds.
You can read his full thoughts here:National Grid has a unique bet on net zero by 2050. But first it must avoid renationalisation
10:52AM
Sterling wobbles against dollar after inflation figures
US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates by a quarter point: as it happened

The pound dropped to nearly 0.5pc down against the dollar following the inflation stats release
The pound dropped nearly to nearly 0.5pc down against the dollar following the release of those inflation figures, but
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