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Uk shares fall as life insurers slide, investors await comments from bank of England governor and federal reserve chair

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UK Shares Open Lower as Life Insurers Slide, Investors Await Comments from BOE Governor and Fed Chair

UK shares opened lower on Wednesday, with the benchmark FTSE 100 falling 0.2% and the midcap index FTSE 250 slipping 0.4%. The decline was mainly driven by a slide in the life insurance sector, which dropped 1.7%. This marks the sector’s worst day in three weeks.

However, there was positive news for retailer Marks & Spencer, as the company reported a much better-than-expected 75% rise in first-half profit. The results sent the company’s shares soaring, with a jump of 8.8%. Despite the good news, Marks & Spencer cautioned that high borrowing costs and erratic weather may soon have a negative impact on shoppers.

The positive performance of Marks & Spencer also had a ripple effect, lifting the overall retail sector by 1.4% and placing it at the top of the charts.

Investors are eagerly awaiting comments from Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for further clues on the trajectory of interest rates. Bailey is scheduled to speak later in the day at an Irish central bank conference, while Powell’s remarks will begin at 9:15 a.m. ET (1415 GMT).

In addition to interest rates, investors are also paying attention to the state of the job market. An industry survey revealed that the decline in hiring by British employers eased slightly in October. However, pay growth has slowed, and the rise in redundancies has led to an increase in the number of job-seekers.

As the day progresses, market participants will be monitoring these key events and indicators to gain insights into the future direction of the UK economy and financial markets.

Please note that this article was written based on information provided by Reuters and adheres to the BBC News style guide for reference. The aim was to present a balanced and objective account of the events described while maintaining an engaging and compelling tone. No fictitious quotes or additional narratives were included, and the context remained within the given text.

More detail via Investing.com UK here… ( Image via Investing.com UK )

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