Equities drift as commodities sink

Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is marginally lower, as markets continue to struggle for direction.

City of London skyline
Source: Bloomberg

Overall the sellers still seem to have the upper hand at present in these markets, although the usual strong showing of the fourth quarter is making it difficult to really build downside momentum.

This morning’s German factory-gate inflation figures got filed in the ‘more ECB stimulus’ needed column, but improved bank lending in the currency union suggests that things might not be as bad.

Thursday’s ECB get-together is likely to be much talk but little action, in common with most of these meetings, but there is still a growing sense that something must be done to enliven a flagging eurozone economy.

It is difficult to discern much of a general theme to today’s action in London, but decent  results from Intercontinental Hotels and Whitbread have been rewarded, helping to prevent further losses in the index.

In the US IBM became the latest to issue a gloomy earnings update, but it looks like most attention is still being focused on the tech names later in the week.

Despite a relaxation of tensions surrounding China and a US rate hike, equities have yet to find their footing in any meaningful fashion. The hunt for a catalyst on which to hang a decent year-end rally goes on.

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