FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close as US economics figures dampen the pound'srebound against the dollar
Pound halts slide oncurrency markets as the services sector smashes expectations in October'sclosely-watched PMI survey
Services sector business activity index rises to 55.6 (any reading above 50 indicates growth), its highest reading in sixmonths
Sterling plunged 1.6pc against the dollar yesterday on Mark Carney's dovish tone over future interest rate rises
Markets digest Donald Trump's pick for the next Federal Reserve chair; Jerome Powell considered a dove and thecontinuity choice
Arqiva and Bakkavor ditch LondonIPO plans due to 'market volatility'
Markets wrap: FTSE 100 sneaks record close as pound's rebound is dampened by US economics data
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

The FTSE 100 needed less than a point to hit a new record
The FTSE 100 sneaked a record high close this afternoon after the wind was knocked out of the pounds sails by a solid US job figures and a closely-watched economic survey across the Atlantic hitting a 12-year high.
Sterling was beginning to claw back some of the 1.6pc plunge following an expectations-beating services PMI reading but its momentum against the dollar was halted as US unemployment continued to confound expectations, dropping to 4.1pc, a fresh 16-year low.
At first glance, traders sold off the dollar as non-farm payroll figures showed that only 261,000 jobs were added to the US economy and wage growth flatlined but soon piled back into the greenback on upward revisions to previous months figures and the ISM non-manufacturing index unexpectedly climbing to 60.1, its highest level since 2005.
Aided by the slipping pound and needing less than one point to beat its previous best ever points tally, the FTSE 100 limped to a record all-time close at 7560.35.
iPhone X sees return of lengthy Apple Store queues as fanatics wait overnight for new phone
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

Early morning queues outside the Regent Street Apple
The releaseof the iPhone X saw long queues return to Apple Stores on Friday as the new deviceappeared to reversea trend of more muted launches in recent years.
Thousands appeared to line up in cities across the world for the phone, which has generated excitement among Apple fans for being a major design departure from its predecessors.
New iPhone launches once reliably drew in huge queues of overnight campers and early risers, but the trend had seemingly tailed off in recent years as excitement over the new devices appeared to wane. But theiPhone X, which features facial recognition technology and a new design with an edge-to-edge screen, bucked the trend.
Labelled the "future of the smartphone" by Apple chief executive Tim Cook, the iPhone X is the first mass market smartphone to break the ?1,000 barrier, with its most-expensive model costing ?1,149. But the pricehas seemingly failed to dampen demand among early adopters.
The phone sold out in minutes whenonline pre-orders opened last weekandstock was limited for Friday's release, leading hundreds to queue up outside Apple's flagship Regent Street London store overnight.
Read James Titcomb's full report here
FTSE 100 flirts with record finish; IBEX 35 plunges as Spain rounds up Catalan politicians
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

Ousted Catalan president Carles Puigdemont
With half an hour to go, the FTSE 100 only needs one solitary point to hit a record high and the index is flickering in and out of positive territory. It won't be the most barnstorming way to break its record but a record it would be.
Meanwhile, the IBEX 35's wild swings are continuing today. This time it has plunged 1.2pc as the Spanish government arrests pro-independence Catalan politicians with oustedleaderCarles Puigdemont still seeking refuge in Belgium
CMC Markets analyst David Madden gave his take on today's action:

"TheFTSE 100had a strong start to the session as the pound was still suffering from the Bank of England (BoE) update yesterday. But a combination of a robust rise in the growth rate of the UK services sector and themediocre US non-farm payrollsfigure pushed the pound higher, and we saw the FTSE 100 turnover on itself.
"The FTSE 100 is comfortably above the 7500 mark and the upward trend it has been in since mid-September is still intact, so may the wider bullish move could continue."
Lonmin loses fifth of market value after delaying publication of its accounts
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

Lonmin confirmed it was looking at which bits of the company it could sell to raise capital
Spooked investors sent shares in Lonmin down 21pc in morning trade after the platinum producer warned it would delay publication of its full-year accounts.
The struggling miner said an ongoing review of its assets required management's undivided attention and as such Lonmin and its auditors require additional time to complete the audit.
The accounts had been due on November 13. Lonmin said it would update the market in due course.
The stock slumped to 81.75p. As recently as 2010 it was changing hands for ?126 a share. In 2015 Lonmin undertook a life-saving rights issue that saw a major South African public-sector pension fund take 30pc of its stock.
The miner has been hammered by a prolonged slump in the price of platinum, used in catalytic converters in cars, and by rising costs in South Africa, where it operates, due to the strengthening of the rand against the US dollar.
Read Jon Yeomans' full report here
Markets peter out as we head towards the end of trading
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

Vodafone is dragging down the FTSE 100 most today
This now has a very Friday afternoon feel to it. The pound's rebound against the dollar has eased and the pair areheading back towards flat territory while the FTSE 100, which this morningwas on course for a record high finish, has inched into the red.
The index only needs to gain 0.93 point today to hit a new best ever close but its momentum has completely dissipated.
There's a pile of fresh economics data to get through from the US so let's quickly run through it.
The ISM non-manufacturing index beat expectations to hit a 12-year high of 60.1 while factory orders growth nudged up to 1.4pc.
Capital Economics US economist Andrew Hunter said that the continued strength of business surveys"illustrates that the pick-up in GDP growth over the past couple of quarters has been no fluke".
He added:

"Admittedly, the ISM non-manufacturing survey appeared to receive a boost in September as the hurricanes resulted in a sharp slowdown in delivery times (which would normally be a positive signal for demand).
"With the supplier deliveries index unchanged at 58.0 in October, that boost appears to have been sustained, as the backlog of orders is being worked through. But this sub-index will probably fall back again soon."
British Gas owner Centrica snaps up European power control firm
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

Centrica has deepened its presence in the growing market for power-control after paying 70m (?62m) for a European technology firm
The owner of British Gas has deepened its presence in the growing market for power control after paying 70m (?62m) for a European technology firm that can flex the electricity demand of heavy energy users to help balance fluctuations on the grid.
Antwerp-based REstore uses software to control the energy demand of 150 industrial and commercial customers across Belgium, the UK, France and Germany by turning demand down when supplies are tight and letting it go higher when electricity is ample.
In total REstore controls 1.7GW worth of power demand, the capacity equivalent of half the new Hinkley Point power plant.
At a stroke, REstore can cut hundreds of megawatts of demand from the grid by temporarily reducing its customers'energy use for non-essential operations such as air conditioning, water pumps or activities thatcan be delayed until overall demand wanes or power supplies are able to ramp up.
Read Jillian Ambrose's full report here
Apple shares climb as the iPhone X hits shops
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

Apple shares have popped on the launch day of the iPhone X
Tech giant Apple's march towards becoming the first $1 trillion company took another step forward today after its market capsmashed through the $900m barrieron the day of the iPhone X's launch.
Apple's 2.6pc jump to another record high today isn't enough to propel the Dow Jones into positive territory, however, with equities stateside echoing the quiet end to the week in Europe.
ETX Capital analyst Neil Wilson explained the positive share price reaction to Apple's figures released yesterday:

"Earnings smashed expectations. Quarterly revenue rose to $52.6 billion, an increase of 12 percent from the year-ago quarter and above the $50.7bn expected. EPS rose to $2.07, a full 10% above consensus expectations for $1.87.
"Sales of the iPhone were also higher than expected as the 8 and 8 Plus are proving more popular than anticipated. iPhone sales are 2% year on year."
Expect a couple more rate rises says Bank of England deputy governor
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

Expect more rate hikes in the years ahead, says Ben Broadbent
Britain faces more interest rate hikes in the coming years and households should not think ofyesterdays riseas a one off, Ben Broadbent has said.
The deputy Governor of the Bank of England said he wanted to clarify that policymakers are as close as they can get to promising more hikes.
Weve said, given all the things we assume in our forecast, many of which will be misses - there are always unknown things and unpredictable things happening - but given our outlook currently, we anticipate we will need maybe a couple more rate rises, to get inflation back on track, while at the same time supporting the economy, he told the BBCs Today programme.
Read Tim Wallace's full report here
US job figures less disappointing at second glance
261k payrolls...making up for last month's hurricane-related weakness, but light relative to consensus...upward revisions to past 2m Liz Ann Sonders (@LizAnnSonders) November 3, 2017
Non-farm payrolls have grown every month of Janet Yellen's tenure as Fed Chair (at least after today's revisions). Extraordinary stuff. Justin Wolfers (@JustinWolfers) November 3, 2017
Eagle-eyed Capital Economics' chief US economist Paul Ashworth has spotted that thepoor headlinenon-farm payrollfigure is less disappointing when you factor inthe previous two months beingrevised up today.
What was thought to be a 33,000 loss in jobs in September was actually a 18,000 gain and partly explains the slightly dishearteningheadline figure today.
He added, however:

"Nevertheless, that still means employment increased by a relatively modest 140,000 per month over the past two months, which is a significant slowdown on the pace of employment growth in the first half of this year. There may still be a lingering impact from the hurricanes, however."
Pound climbs higher against the dollar following disappointing US job figures
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

The labour market rebounded from a hurricane-distorted September but figures disappointed
The pound is continuing its ascent against the dollar after US labour market statistics came in far weaker than expected.
Although unemployment fell to 4.1pc, a 16-year low, only 261,000 jobs were added to the US economy in October, far below the 313,000 expected by economists.
Wage growth also disappointed, coming in flat compared to forecasts of a 0.2pc monthly rise.
Sterling has clawed back 0.4pc against the dollar and touched back over the $1.31 mark.
Lunchtime update: Accelerating services sector helps pound claw back lost ground
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

The services sector accelerated in October
The bruised and battered pound is climbing on the currency markets this morning after the services sector smashed economists' expectations in a closely-watched survey.
The UK's largest sector was expected to cool slightly in October but rose from 53.6 to 55.6 in IHS Markit's PMI survey (any reading over 50 indicates growth). The beat topped off this week'strio of expectations-beating PMI readings whichvindicateyesterday's interest rate hike at the Bank of England.
Sterling, which nosedived1.6pc against the dollar yesterday on the Monetary Policy Committee's dovish tone over future interest rate increases, has clawed back 0.2pc against the dollar to rise to $1.3087 following the survey.
The FTSE 100's 0.1pc nudge higher is enough to leave it on course for a record high close but airline firms IAG and easyJet are dragging the index towards the red today.
Services PMI reaction: Survey indicates growth of around 2pc next year
Solid #UK services PMI in October, composite surveys are pointing to 0.5% quarterly GDP growth at the start of Q4. From @MarkitEconomics Danielle Haralambous (@DHaralambous) November 3, 2017
Let's have a final round up ofthe reaction to today's better-than-expected services PMI figures.
The survey indicates that the economy held onto its recent momentum in the fourth quarter and should achieve growth of around 2pc next year, commented Capital Economics UK economist Ruth Gregory.
She added:

"As a result, it might not be too long before the MPC moves again. We envisage a second hike in the second quarter of 2018."

Christ, the speculation for the next hike has already started.
UK service sector had a pretty bumper October according to latest PMI. Although worth noting it's only a rough indicator of official stats. Rupert Seggins (@Rupert_Seggins) November 3, 2017
Meanwhile,the ever-cautious Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macro warned that the stronger growth looks "unsustainable".
He explained:

"The recovery, however, looks liable to weaken soon, given the more modest rise in the new orders index to 54.8, from 53.3 in September, and the depressed level of expectations for future business volumes.
"Meanwhile, services firms increased employment at the slowest rate since March, while the drop in the input prices balance to its lowest level since September 2016 signals that wage pressures remain muted."
FTSE 100 on course for record high close
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

The FTSE 100 hit an all-time high last month
The FTSE 100 is on course to close at its highest level ever after nudging up 0.3pc this morning.
After coming within a point yesterday of beating the current all-time high of 7555.32, the blue-chip index only needs to dip a toeinto positive territory today to hit a new record.
It's still another 20 points off its record intraday high but it could be given a final shove this afternoon if the dollar jumps against the pound on a better-than-expectedjobs report in the US.
Wednesday's ADP jobs figure, which serves as a rough indicator of how the official figures will do, comfortably beat expectations and could suggest today's data will follow suit. While there was a huge gapbetweenthe official figures and ADP's reading last month, hurricane season has warped recentdata.
The dovish leanat the ECB and Bank of England in the last week or so is helping to lift equities today, according to IG market analyst Joshua Mahony.
He said:

"Global indices are on the rise, as dovish central banking effects in Europe, coupled with bullish corporate factors in the US, help push the likes of the DAX and Dow into record highs.
"The FTSE 100 has moved within 24 points of its all-time high, with the BoEs plan to revalue the pound through a one-off rate hike looking foolhardy given yesterdays 1.5% drop in GBPUSD."
Smith & Nephew boss defends strategy as Elliott circles
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

Olivier Bohuon has defended Smith & Nephew's strategy
The outgoing boss of FTSE 100 artificial hip and knee maker Smith & Nephew has insisted he has the right strategy for the company after coming under pressure to break it up by activist investor Elliott Advisors.
Olivier Bohuon, who announced plans to retire next year last month, said thathe would put a renewed focus on reducing cost and simplifying the business during his remaining tenure.
In its update the orthopaedic specialist said revenue and profit margins for the full year would be towards the lower end of forecasts, partly due to natural disasters hitting demand for procedures in parts of North America including Florida, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Revenues in the third quarter were none the less up 3pc on the year to $1.2bn (?920m), with hips and knees performing particularly strongly. The impact from natural disasters was quantified at $5m.
Read Iain Withers' full report here
Services PMI reaction: UK economy continues to 'improve gradually'
Services PMI caveats:
1) Expect. of future activity still v low
2) Flagging retail excluded
3) 0.3pp past av. error at predicting q/q% GDP Samuel Tombs (@samueltombs) November 3, 2017
UK services PMI beats at 55.6, Strongest rate of business activity growth for six months, input cost inflation eases to 13-month low Neil Wilson (@neilwilson_etx) November 3, 2017
So that's three expectations-beating PMI surveys for the construction, manufacturing and services sectors this week and it appears that the UK economy began to pick-up the pace at the start of the fourth quarter.
After recordinga quite modest 0.3pc growth in the first two quarters of the year, theeconomy appears to putting its foot back on the accelerator.
Last week, the first GDP estimate forthe third quarter came in stronger at 0.4pc and the pick-up in today's services sector PMI survey suggests that"the economy continued to improve gradually at the start of the fourth quarter", according to EY ITEM Club chief economic advisor Howard Archer.
He added:

"Despite the pick-up in activity and new business growth, service companies confidence was reported to be relatively subdued amid uncertainties over the outlook, particularly relating to Brexit.
"There was particular concern about businesses willingness to invest. Consequently, employment growth slowed to a seven-month low."
Services sector PMI a mixed bag for the UK economy
#PMI shows #UK #services activity up to a 6-month high in October. Up to 55.6 from 53.6 in Sep & Aug 11-month low of 53.2. New orders up Howard Archer (@HowardArcherUK) November 3, 2017
That's quite a beat for the services sector in this morning's closely-watchedPMI survey.
We were expecting the UK's largest sector to cool slightly in October and record a reading of 53.3 (any reading above 50 indicates growth) but it smashed expectations to rise to 55.6, its highest score in sixmonths.
IHS Markit noted that the expansion in service sector output was the fastest since April and was supported by "improved order books and resilient client demand".
The survey adds "some justification" to the Bank of England's interest rate rise yesterday but a "deeper dive into the numbers highlights the fragility of the economy", said IHS Markit's chief business economist Chris Williamson.
He said on a more gloomy outlook:

"A downturn in business optimism about the year ahead, fueled mainly by Brexit-related uncertainty, suggests that risks are tilted to the downside as far as future growth is concerned.
"Not surprisingly, employment growth slowed for a second successive month as the business mood grew more cautious and risk averse."
Pound rebounds as services sector figures smash expectations
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

The services sector was expected to cool but smashed expectations
The services sector, the UK's most important, smashed expectations and put its foot on the acceleratorin October, according to IHS Markit's closely-watched PMI survey.
The huge beat has helped thepound bounceback into positive territory on currency markets, rising 0.1pc against a basket of currencies. More to follow...
Arqiva ditched IPO: Stock market volatility at historic lows
Two big London IPOs - Bakkavor and Arqiva - have been pulled this morning blaming market "volatility". That's nonsense. Ben Wright (@_BenWright_) November 3, 2017
Mobile mast provider Arqiva's ?6bn IPOwould have been London's biggest this year and it'sa bit of a blow for the capital's stock market but the reasoning behind the ditched float is what stands outmost in today's announcement.
Arqiva's board said that "market uncertainty" was to blame while hummus supplier Bakkavor said it dumped its own IPO plans today due to "volatility".
We're not quite buying that, however.
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

FTSE 100 volatility is at historic lows
As you can see in the chart above, FTSE 100 volatility is actually at historic lows and some doomsayers actually make the link between very low volatility and previous market crashes. The last thing stock markets are at the moment is volatile.
As our chief business correspondent Christopher Williams reported just a couple of weeks ago, Arqiva had a tough time attracting investment when it tried to sell privately and was forced to go public by a lack of interest.
Arqiva and Bakkavor scrap London floats blaming market 'volatility'
What links hummus and mobile phone masts? Two companies who don't want to go public right now, thanks v much Jon Yeomans (@JonLYeomans) November 3, 2017
Mobile mast provider Arqiva and food producer Bakkavor have both pulled their initial public offerings on the London Stock Exchange, blaming "volatility" in the market.
Arqiva'spotential ?6bn float, which wouldhave been London's biggest IPO of the year, was announced just two weeks ago.
Bakkavor, which makes ready meals for a host of high-street retailers and is the UK's biggest supplier of hummus, revealed plans for a ?1bn float last month.
Arqiva backs out of IPO. Political scene doesn't help, but market had lots of concerns about shape of the business. Chris Williams (@cg_williams) November 3, 2017
In a brief statement this morning Arqiva said: "The board and shareholders have decided that pursuing a listing in this period of IPO market uncertainty is not in the interests of the company and its stakeholders, and will revisit the listing once IPO market conditions improve."
Bakkavor said that while it has received enough interest from investors, it had decided"that proceeding with the transaction would not be in the best interests of the company, or its shareholders, given the current volatility in the IPO market".
Read Jon Yeomans' full report here
Agenda: Pound halts slide ahead of services sector indicator; markets digest new Fed chair pick
FTSE 100 inches up to fresh record close

Jerome Powell will be the next head of the US's central bank
There's no rest for the markets following yesterday's action at the Bank of England with services sector data, US job figures andDonald Trump's pick for the Federal Reserve's next chairtodigest.
The pound has halted its slide on currency markets ahead of this morning's services sector indicator but the wind has undoubtedly been knocked out of the currency'ssails following yesterday's dovish interest rate hike.
The services sector, the UK's most important,is expected to have cooled a touch in October but US labour statistics steal the limelight on the markets today with the Fed gearing up for its own interest rate hike next month.
Trump Says Jerome Powell Is His Pick for Fed Chairman Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) November 2, 2017
Non-farm payrolls data this afternoon is expected to show that 313,000 jobs were added to the US economy in October, a sharp rebound from September's hurricane-distorted figures.
There will also be more reaction to the news that broke overnight thatpresident Donald Trump has confirmed that continuity candidate Jerome Powell will be the next Fed chair.
Interim results: Smith & Nephew
Trading statement: Informa
AGM: Gunsynd, Frontera Resources Corporation
Economics: Services PMI (UK), Trade balance (US), Average hourly earnings m/m (US), Unemployment rate (US), Non-farm employment change (US), Final services (EU)



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