FTSE higher, Europe closed for Labour Day

The FTSE is trading higher this morning helped by a rally in Sainsbury which staged a recover after its failed bid for rival chain Asda.

The FTSE is trading higher this morning helped by a rally in Sainsbury which staged a recovery after its failed bid for rival chain Asda. The company’s Chief Executive Mike Coupe, the man behind the merger idea, managed to reassure investors that the supermarket has the capacity to improve earnings and halt declining sales even without the acquisition, by cutting debt and improving more than 400 of its shops.

On the losing side of the FTSE were Just Eat, which has lost its chief executive at the beginning of this year and is struggling to appease investors about weaker growth, and housebuilder Persimmon which warned about rising costs, echoing a similar message from rival Taylor Wimpey. However, there was some positive news for housebuilders as data showed that British house prices continued to rise, albeit at a slow pace. First time buyers played a key role despite the uncertainty over Brexit as low interest rates and low unemployment helped them to step on the housing ladder.

Apple results to help Wall Street

Most of European markets are closed today for the May Day holiday. In the US a 5% rise in Apple shares following a positive earnings report afterhours Tuesday should bode well for the start of trading on Wall Street.

The pound seems undeterred by the UK local elections Thursday and is trading higher against the dollar and the euro. The euro also staged a recovery against the dollar, backed by a slight increase in Europe’s first quarter GDP numbers and German CPI.

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