The dollar edged up on Monday, boosted by robust U.S. wage growth data that strengthened the case for more U.S. interest rate rises, while Britain’s pound fell on comments by Prime Minister Theresa May seen as pointing to a “hard” Brexit.
Britain’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE nonetheless hit a record high as the first full trading week of 2017 on London markets began. The pan-European STOXX 600 index dropped 0.5 percent in early deals.
Wall Street, which hit record highs on Friday, also looked set for a cautious start, with index futures ESc1 1YMc1 lower as oil prices fell.
Britain’s pound was the big mover on currency markets, falling 1 percent against the dollar and the euro, in reaction to weekend comments from May that were interpreted as suggesting that she would prioritize reducing immigration over access to the European Union single market when Britain leaves the EU.
“The rise in the FTSE is really down to the weakness in sterling, but the Brexit news is not great so I don’t see the FTSE gaining too much,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, market strategist at London Capital Group.
In Asia, MSCI’s ex-Japan Asia-Pacific shares index .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 0.1 percent, having earlier risen as much as 0.5 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX200 rose 0.9 percent while Hong Kong shares .HSI rose 0.2 percent.
Trading was light because Japan was shut for a holiday.A focus for the week will be a news conference on Wednesday at which U.S. President-elect Donald Trump may give more details of the policies he will seek to implement after he takes office on Jan. 20.
Expectations of more economic stimulus from a Trump administration have helped to boost U.S. stocks and bond yields.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI came within one point of the 20,000 mark for the first time on Friday while the S&P 500 .SPX and Nasdaq .IXIC hit record highs.
Friday’s closely-watched U.S. employment report showed that fewer jobs were created last month than forecast, although a rebound in wages pointed to economic strength and set the stage for more Fed hikes later in the year.
The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, rose 0.1 percent on Monday. The euro EUR= weakened marginally to $1.0525 while the yen JPY= rose 0.3 percent to 116.64 per dollar.
Sterling GBP=D4 fell 0.9 percent to $1.2166, having touched its lowest since late October at $1.2122, and weakened more than 1 percent against the euro EURGBP= to an eight-week low of 85.65 pence.
This followed comments from May that she was not interested in keeping “bits of membership” of the European Union when Britain leaves – even though she said on Monday that she had said nothing new in Sunday’s interview.
“May saying that it’s not about keeping ‘bits’ of the EU suggests it’s not going to be about keeping access to the single market,” said HSBC currency strategist Dominic Bunning.
Ensco plc (ESV) ended last trading session with a change of 6.38 percent. It trades at an average volume of 9.45M shares versus 14.4M shares recorded at the end of last trading session. The share price of $11.68 is at a distance of 79.88 percent from its 52-week low and down -17.96 percent versus its peak. The company has a market cap of $3.6B and currently has 308.34M shares outstanding. The share price is currently 13.01 percent versus its SMA20, 26.84 percent versus its SMA50, and 25.31 percent versus its SMA200. The stock has a weekly performance of 18.1 percent and is 20.16 percent year-to-date as of the recent close.
DryShips Inc. (DRYS) recently recorded -2.57 percent change and currently at $3.03 is 1.68 percent away from its 52-week low and down -98.91 percent versus its peak. It has a past 5-day performance of -19.2 percent and trades at an average volume of 7.76M shares. The stock has a 1-month performance of -36.74 percent and is -17.89 percent year-to-date as of the recent close. There were about 1.17M shares outstanding which made its market cap $3.55M. The share price is currently -27.59 percent versus its SMA20, -65.56 percent versus its SMA50, and -94.04 percent versus its SMA200.