Today's financial news

FRIDAY 25th Aug

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Powell’s speech later today will set the tone for the remainder of 2023’s global market sentiment

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All eyes on Powell’s interest rate speech 

Markets have eagerly awaited the speech of the week by Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve in the US, later today at the Jackson Hole Symposium. He is due to speak at 10am local time, which is mid-afternoon for those in Europe. His speech holds a lot of weight for the global markets as it’is due to indicate the Federal Reserve’s attitude towards ongoing, as well as future, interest rate hikes. Most anticipate that it will be ‘hawkish’, meaning he’s likely to say we need more interest rate hikes and that the inflation battle isn’t over yet.

The BRICS are expanding

The group made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa have announced that they will be expanding their membership to five further countries, including Saudi Arabia and Argentina. The nations had met this week in Johannesburg, South Africa, to discuss the onboarding of new members, as well as other matters pertinent to the block, including the potential of a shared currency for members. After another tough week on the markets for China, the renewal of a global unit is likely to boost local and foreign interest in the BRICS participating nations. 

Watches of Switzerland slumps

Having reported record earnings just last month, Watches of Switzerland (WOSG) took a bump back to reality as their share price slumped by 27% yesterday. The company specialises in selling Swiss watches to the UK market, a trade which has been surprisingly robust despite tougher times. However, Rolex announced that it had bought Bucherer, one of the key rivals to Watches of Switzerland. This led many investors to fear the preferential treatment and ease of trading that Bucherer may now benefit from. 

Sources: AJ Bell, Financial Times, IG, Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance, The Guardian, Reuters

Zoe Burt