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In London, the supermarkets are showing the rest of the market how it’s done. October has been a terrible month for equities, but now that the dust has settled traders are rummaging around for bargains and supermarkets are at the top of traders shopping lists.
The banks are back in investors' bad books, after updates from Standard Chartered and Lloyds spooked traders. Shares in Standard Chartered dipped below the £10 mark for the first time in five years after the bank issued its second profit-warning in four months; the emerging markets-focused bank had to shut branches during the Hong Kong protests, while tougher regulation in South Korea and now slower growth in China all played a factor in the decline in profits. Lloyds' 35% increase in nine-month underlying profit wasn’t enough to impress traders. The announcement of 9000 job losses and branch closures over the next three years is a step in the right direction, but dealers are demanding the reinstatement of the dividend.
BP managed to beat estimates but third-quarter profits declined on the year as the sanctions on Russia hit profits at Rosneft.
In the US, we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 88 points higher at 16,905. Twitter’s share price is down 11% as last night’s third-quarter figures highlighted a slowdown in user interaction. Pfizer is marginally higher in the pre-market as traders await its quarterly numbers at lunchtime. The US drug-maker is unlikely to keep pursuing AstraZeneca.