Markets steady as October ends

FTSE treads water as traders wait for the weekend.

Traders outside the London Stock Exchange
Source: Bloomberg

RBS has rounded off a week of UK bank figures and were it not for the £1.1 billion cash injection from the sale of its Citizens bank operation in the US, it would make for particularly gloomy reading. Considering RBS will be the least affected of the major banks when ring-fencing is fully implemented, the chancellor will be viewing the possibility of extracting the UK tax payer as increasingly less likely.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh will be particularly pleased with the current state of the airline conglomerate. The company’s finances are suitably robust that they are now in a position to implement a dividend-paying scheme. With the acquisition of Aer Lingus now complete, Mr Walsh will have  several new unions he can start arguing with – a pastime the CEO appears particularly well suited to.

BG Group has increased production while at the same time seen revenue collapse – the 37% year-on-year drop in Q3 profits will add to Shell's woes as the oil major nears the completion of its £45 billion acquisition.

The last 24 hours have seen a plethora of Japanese economic releases but with the BOJ refusing, for the time being, to pull the trigger, the yen has been subjected to some short-term volatility. Oil prices continue to dominate the global inflation picture with this morning seeing the eurozone confirming how its CPI has been affected.  Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow Jones to start 40 points higher, at 17,795.

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