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25/04/24 Briefing



Wall Street stocks slipped into the red on Thursday, while FTSE 100 (^FTSE) outperformed against its European peers, hitting a new intraday high for the third session in a row.

It came as US economic growth slowed sharply, at an annual rate of 1.6% in the first quarter, meaning it only expanded by 0.4% in the three months. This is a slowdown on the fourth quarter of 2023, when real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at 3.4% per year, or by 0.85% in the quarter.

Paul Ashworth, chief North America economist at Capital Economics, said: "Exports ended up increasing by only 0.9%, illustrating the impact of weak global demand, while imports surged by 7.2%. Altogether, net exports subtracted nearly 0.9% points from GDP growth, with inventories generating an additional drag of nearly 0.4 percentage points."

Along with a barrage of corporate earnings in London, there will be yet more quarterly figures from America's tech titans on Thursday, with Google, Microsoft and Intel all due to report today.

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