FTSE edges higher but caution remains

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up two points, at 6648, as the protests in Hong Kong continue to hang over the market.

City of London
Source: Bloomberg

In London, traders are on tenterhooks as all eyes are firmly on the Far East. The London market is holding up relatively well considering stocks in Hong Kong lost over 1% as protesters continue to clash with riot police, while HSBC and Standard Chartered are still suffering because of the unrest.

Royal Bank of Scotland announced that its loan impairments would be significantly lower than estimated, and this could be the turning point where toxic assets turn good.

Interdealer broker ICAP has lost close to 2% in early trading, as declining volatility and a risk adverse stance from big banks has hit revenues.

Wolseley shares are trading higher after the building materials supplier posted a  healthy set of figures. Its profits jumped by 52%, the dividend has been increased and the icing on the cake was the £250 million share buyback scheme.

We have heard of companies blaming poor revenue on bad weather, now Next is blaming soft sales on good weather, as the stock is down 4%.

In the US, we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 20 points higher at 17,091, as US index futures have pulled back some of last night’s losses. 

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