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It may have been a day late but the Greek government submitted a range of reforms it is willing to implement, and we are still waiting to see if they will be accepted by its eurozone counterparts. It is believed that the reforms will be accepted, but until that time traders will be sitting on the fence.
BHP Billiton is the biggest gainer on the FTSE 100 as the mega miner delivered first-half profits that easily exceeded estimates. To combat falling commodity prices the mineral extractor cut costs and slashed capital expenditure, and to keep shareholders happy the interim dividend was boosted by 5%. The ability of the company to produce a strong set of numbers during a testing time for the commodities industry is the reason the market has so much confidence in BHP Billiton.
Shares in Persimmon have been hit by profit-takers this morning as the homebuilder revealed a 44% surge in annual profits. The stock had a record close yesterday and this morning’s sterling figures were the perfect excuse to lock in profits.
Emerging markets-focused fund manger Ashmore announced a double-digit decline in assets under management and profit, as the slow down in Asia and the conflict between the Ukraine and Russia triggered an outflow of funds. The ceasefire in Ukraine and an acceptance of more normal growth rates from Asian countries has seen the share price move off a four-year low.
We are expecting the Dow Jones to open six points lower, at 18,110, and US index futures are expected to remain in a tight trading range as Janet Yellen is set to testify before the Senate Banking Committee shortly after the NYSE opens.