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FTSE continues Monday slide

Heading into the close the FTSE 100 is down 40 points and showing little sign of being able to reverse the negativity.

The FTSE, much like the rest of Europe, has spent all day on the wrong side of parity. The tone for the day was set overnight, with manufacturing figures out of China confirming that the Chinese economy is cooling (if any doubt still lingered) as HSBC’s figures are showing contraction for the third month in a row. The surprise that the much better-than-expected French purchasing managers index figures offered the markets was short-lived, as the German equivalent was disappointing in equal measures. 

UK energy providers await Ofgem report 

Speculation that the big six UK energy providers E.ON, Scottish Power, npower, EDF Energy, Centrica and Scottish & Southern Energy, could face being broken up when Ofgem reports its findings this week appears to have surprised few, as shares have only drifted lower. 

Philip Green's comments about BHS taking on the big four food retailers have not done too much harm as quotes in Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons have all ticked higher.  

Lloyds has seen its shares benefit from a raft of broker upgrades and has spent much of the day at the top of the FTSE mover’s board.

High IPO expectations for Candy Crush maker

After weeks of uncertainty King Digital Entertainment (creator of the game Candy Crush Saga) is expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Expectations with IG clients are high as the grey market price has made its way up to valuations of as much as $900 million. 

Staying with the IPO theme, demand for the Alibaba grey market has kept valuations up around the $2.5 billion level, and seems certain to ensure the Asian online retailer as the biggest IPO ever, as it looks destined to more than double the previous record set by Facebook of $1 billion. 

Gold holding above the $1320 level

The tail-end of last week once again saw Brent crude test the bull’s commitment at the $106 level, and for the third time in the last six months it hasn’t been left wanting. Continuing uncertainties in both Asia and Crimea make forming a clear picture difficult, but below this level appears to be a step too far for many. 

Gold is once again edging ever closer to its moving averages, while at the same time managing to hold above $1320. Traders with a penchant for the precious metal will be hoping that neither of these events transpire.

GBP/USD continues to drift below 100-DMA 

The give-and-take of the French and German economic data released this morning has broadly evened itself out. Breaking with tradition, it is the turn of the French to prop up the Germans as EUR/USD has continued to look somewhat uninspired below the $1.38 level. 

GBP/USD has also felt less than resilient as it continues to drift below both the 100-day moving average and the $1.65 level.

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