FTSE struggles to find momentum

Mid-morning trading sees the FTSE 100 down 20 points, giving back the ground gained yesterday.

Despite a strong session in Asia and yet another record close for the S&P 500, the FTSE is once again struggling to find upward momentum. Confusion surrounding US data yesterday doesn’t help, but as we get steadily closer to the European Central Bank meeting and non-farm payrolls the mood is going to become increasingly nervous. 

Yesterday’s consumer price index data for Germany and more shocking unemployment figures from Europe add more fuel to speculation about some kind of action from the ECB, but even a cut in rates to 0% would simply be a panacea. Supermarket data caused Tesco shares to slump through the £3 level after it was revealed that the market share for the giant firm fell 3% in the past three months, confirming the trend that bigger names are continuing to lose out to the bargain supermarkets.

Today’s US data carries less weight than the figures yesterday, but hopefully we can get through the day without any more revisions to yesterday’s ISM number. With ADP numbers tomorrow kicking off the busy half of the week, today is probably just going to see some nervous shifting of positions with the real work delayed until after the ECB meeting. Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow Jones to start 25 points lower at 16,718. 

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