Stocks are offside, but holding up relatively well considering the massive selloff in Japan overnight as fears over emerging-market exposure echoed around the world. Traders are treading lightly, not wanting to get stung if there is a sudden exodus from equities into cash or bonds. The US debt-ceiling deadline is approaching again and, as on the past two occasions, dealers are anticipating downgrade speculation and a slide in stocks.
BP is still suffering from the Gulf of Mexico disaster, and the oil titan’s asset-stripping programme may be topping up the compensation pool but is it is taking its toll on production levels. Ocado’s deal with Morrisons helped to increase the former's revenue, but was not enough to stop it delivering a loss for 2013. BG Group is in positive territory this morning after the company reported its first quarterly loss since 2000. The share price still hasn’t recovered since the profit warning issued over a week ago.
In the US, we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 40 points higher at 15,412, as short-covering kicks in.