Established in 1974
185,800 clients worldwide
Over 15,000 markets

FTSE slips as traders await autumn statement

The FTSE sees a softer start today, down 13 points as traders look ahead to the release of the autumn statement.

10 Downing Street
Source: Bloomberg

Today’s autumn statement from Chancellor George Osborne will no doubt see numerous pre-Christmas gifts distributed to promising swing voters. Transport stocks have already benefited from the leaked multi-billion pound plans for upgrading infrastructure. A buoyant housing market will go a long way to providing a stable platform for the UK to vote in 2015 and tweaks to stamp duty have once again been muted. Increased Asian expectations of more direct stimulus from China have helped drive equity markets this week. The German DAX has bobbed along the 10,000 level while the FTSE, in its lagging fashion, has also welcomed the boost to commodity stocks.

Yesterday saw the rumour mill go into overdrive, as chatter surrounding a Shell acquisition of BP took hold. Although the two oil giants have numerous operations that would complement each other, it is difficult to envisage this being something that could be easily done. Considering the combined company would account for almost 13% of the FTSE 100, regulators would no doubt place numerous hurdles in Shell’s path. Posting pre-tax profits up by over 60% has ensured that Sage has sat comfortably at the top of this morning’s FTSE risers. The UK-based accounting and payroll software company has seen a marked improvement in contract renewals, helping push the shares 4.25% higher in early trading.

Stockbroking stalwart Brewin Dolphin has also released figures to impress the markets, as discretionary fund growth has helped drive pre-tax profits up 16%.

Along with final services PMI figures for the UK, today the US will also be posting the ADP employment report. These figures can sometimes offer a clue as to how Friday’s non-farm payrolls will pan out, but traders will be all too conscious of how frequently this correlation fails to materialise. Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 13 points lower at 17,866.  

The information on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG Bank S.A. accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it and as such is considered to be a marketing communication.