Helen Nugent

Markets, banks, property and the pay gap

It’s the morning after an 18-month campaign – and the markets have started to digest Donald Trump’s surprise election as US President.

In early trading, the FTSE 100 index jumped by 49 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 6960. The Dow Jones industrial average is on track to hit a new record high when the US stock market opens later today. Last night the Dow closed near to its highest levels. And, after touching almost $1,340 an ounce yesterday before falling back, gold is up slightly this morning at $1,291.

Meanwhile, Dame DeAnne Julius, a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, told the BBC Today programme: ‘The difficulty with Trump’s rather dangerous ideas about trade is that it would involve unwinding all the supply chains that American companies have with their trading partners, not just in Mexico and Canada – their biggest trading partners – but also in China for companies like Apple. It would be very bad for the world economy if the US became heavily protectionist.’

Banks

High Street banks have pledged to provide more support to customers affected by plans to shut local branches.

Banks say they are changing guidelines and will inform people more promptly and put better trained staff in place, according to the BBC. The decision follows an independent report which said for some losing their bank branch was like a ‘bereavement’. Some 1,700 UK bank branches have disappeared in recent years as customers switch to online banking. However, it emerged yesterday that Lloyds Bank is cutting 665 jobs and closing 49 branches as it continues to cut costs in an attempt to complete its return to the private sector. Property Homebuyers are slowly returning to the property market after the uncertainty caused by the referendum, but there are not enough homes to meet demand, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The Telegraph reports that buyer inquiries are up for the second month running, but there has been a further fall in instructions.

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