Weaker PMI figures from Europe have stymied any chance of an early bounce for European markets, and have cancelled out some of the good news from China, where the manufacturing PMI moved into expansion territory for the first time this year and touched its highest level since October. Miners have been in demand this morning thanks to the news, which has gone some way to leaving the FTSE as the relative outperformer; a change from previous weeks in which the heavy mining component weighed the index down. Oil prices and the situation in Iraq are still providing plenty of cause for concern, given the Iraqi army’s apparent inability to hold the line against the insurgents.
The latest IPO has reverted to recent form, after TSB’s successful debut on Friday, as the AA sees its shares dip by 3%. Breakdown puns will be wheeled out as a result, but the underlying lesson is that investors are being very choosy about where they put their money, and AA doesn’t yet appear to provide compelling reasons for investment.
Attention now shifts to PMI data from the US, as indices look to build on their gains from last week. Perhaps some lift might be gained from the performance of Team USA at the World Cup, but it says much about the market that this is being suggested as a reason for optimism. Iraq should still dominate the news, especially as John Kerry arrives to shore up the beleaguered government in Baghdad.
Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow Jones to start 17 points lower at 16,930.