Traders absorb EU figures

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is down just 10 points, as traders appear to be sat squarely on the fence following European inflation figures and ahead of US GDP.

The EU unemployment rate has remained at 12%, a figure that will leave few observers surprised, however the increase in EU inflation of up to 0.8% will give European Central Bank president Mario Draghi a tiny amount of wriggle room. All eyes will now be trained on this afternoon's US GDP figures and how badly they will have been dented by climate issues. Rounding the FTSE’s week off will be Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s speech in Germany, discussing the state of the markets and the role of central bankers.  

International Consolidated Airline Group has posted a €770 million profit after last year’s losses, and it appears fortune is now favouring Willie Walsh as he has been helped by fuel costs falling and finally brokering an agreement with Iberian cabin crew. 

Rightmove – the online version of an estate agent – has seen site traffic jump 27%, and subsequently profits have increased by 19%. Market speculation that the Daily Mail will look to sell off rival website Zoopla sometime in the next year will no doubt increase customer awareness and market spend, both of which would be felt by Rightmove. 

Trading activity in the grey market of Poundland had been relatively quiet, until the last 48 hours where the IG anticipated market capitalisation of the company has been driven up to £915 million from £750 million. 

The S&P 500 once again flirted with all-time highs and, although there seems to be a reluctance from traders to become too bullish, markets are still moving higher. Following Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's comments last night, that the voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee would be monitoring the impact of the weather to the economy over the last quarter, the prospect of 'bad news being good news' has once again emerged. 

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow Jones to start 2 points lower at 16,270.

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