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FTSE starts higher on data-heavy day

The FTSE, driven by corporate data, has started the day on a solid footing, up 17 points in early trading.

City of London
Source: Bloomberg

The FTSE has been given some early direction from a plethora of companies posting figures, but today’s UK GDP and CBI sales figures will be equally indicative. Because of Thursday’s Thanksgiving bank holiday in the US, it is a full day of US economic data. Tomorrow will see OPEC meeting in Vienna for its annual shindig, so this afternoon’s crude oil inventories might be more keenly watched than normal.

Equity markets can be ruthlessly cynical, and why Thomas Cook Group thought the instant departure of CEO Harriet Green would be taken at face value is perplexing. Needless to say, a lack of clarification has seen conclusions being jumped to, and after an hour of trading the travel industry firm’s shares has seen over 20% wiped off its value.

Daily Mail & General Trust has posted full-year figures ahead of expectations, driven by advertising revenue from its domination as the most read online paper in the world as it continues to keep the New York Times in second spot.

British soft drinks manufacturer Britvic has beaten all expectations as cost-cutting measures continue to keep the fizz in the share price. Having supplied over 3 billion meals globally last year, catering company Compass Group has seen profits increase by 5.4%.

Last night saw some of the froth being wiped off the top of both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 markets, but not enough to move either out of overbought territory. A barrage of economic data today will keep traders busy, as tomorrow’s Thanksgiving bank holiday sees Thursday’s unemployment claims figures shunted into Wednesday. Markets will be watching to see which of the usual beneficiaries of Black Friday make a move today, ensuring the likes of Amazon, Apple and Alibaba will be at the top of traders' watch lists. 

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 31 points higher at 17,845.  

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