mixed picture on spending emerged today as better-than-expected retail sales figures offset a record low consumer confidence figure.
Retail sales volumes rose 1.4% in April, which was better than the 0.2% decline forecast and the 1.2% fall seen the previous month.
Meanwhile, the latest consumer confidence score from GfK fell two points to minus 40, which is the lowest since records began in 1974 as household worry about rising energy, food and fuel costs.
FTSE 100 higher, S&P 500 near bear market
Traders are expecting a positive session in Europe after Asian markets rallied in the wake of further support for China’s Covid-hit economy.
The country’s central bank cut its mortgage reference rate for the second time this year, a move that was followed by gains of more than 1% for stock markets in the region.
CMC Markets expects the FTSE 100 index to open 78 points higher at 7380, putting back some of the 135 points loss seen on Thursday after weak updates from retailers including Target and Walmart fueled global recession fears.
US future markets also point to a positive start, which means the S&P 500 may avoid bear market territory after yesterday falling 0.6% to the brink of a 20% drop from its all-time high seen in January.
Unless there’s a major improvement today, the S&P 500 will decline for the seventh consecutive week for the first time since 2001.
Brent crude oil prices, meanwhile, are little changed over the week at just under $112 a barrel and Bitcoin remains close to the $30,000 mark after heavy falls in cryptocurrency markets last week.
Credit: www.standard.co.uk /