Yellen leaves US rates unchanged in the run-up to Referendum

US rates remain unchanged after this month’s Federal Reserve meeting yesterday, with Janet Yellen citing slow job growth and a possible Brexit vote as reasons for the decision.

Interest rates will now remain between 0.25 and 0.5 percent for another month. Yellen commented:

“It is a decision that could have consequences for economic and financial conditions in global financial markets.

“If it does so it could have consequences in turn for the US economic outlook that would be a factor in deciding on the appropriate path of policy.

“Obviously how that turns out is something that will factor into future decisions,” she added.

Poundland profits fall ahead of possible takeover

British chain Poundland announced a 13.5 percent fall in underlying full-year profit today, ahead of a possible full takeover by South African group Steinhoff.

The company cited subdued trading, adverse currency moves and difficulties integrating the 99p Store chain into the business.

Steinhoff, who already own 23 percent of Poundland, has until July 13th to bird for the rest of the company. Poundland made an underlying pretax profit of £37.8 million in the year to March 27th – below analysts’ expectations.

Nikkei plunges 3 percent on rising yen 

Thursday became another poor day for Asian shares, with the Nikkei closing down 3 percent for the second time this week.

A rise in the yen contributed to the market fall, seeing the dollar drop to 104.06 yen – its lowest since August 2014. The impact was exacerbated by a statement from the Bank of Japan after its meeting saying it would not add further stimulus.

The Nikkei 225 index closed down 3.05 percent to 15,434.14 points, with the Hang Seng down 2.10 percent and the Shanghai Composite down 0.50 percent.