While the FTSE is up 10 points at 6569 after UK industrial and manufacturing production met expectations, mineral extractors are offside after mixed Chinese data last night, when Beijing announced a jump in retail sales but it was offset by a slip in industrial production. Year-to-date the FTSE 100 is up over 11% while the mining sector is off over 18% over the same period. The uncertainty surrounding Chinese demand is the main factor behind divergence between the two.
Lloyds has made early morning gains after disposing of its remaining stake in wealth manager St James’s Place. This a continuation of its asset-stripping scheme, as the indebted bank cuts away non-core assets and gets back to basics.
TUI Travel has managed to recoup losses made since Norwegian investor John Fredriksen offloaded his position in the travel company at the end of last month. Today’s positive results will make it less of takeover target.
In the US we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 15 points higher at 16,040, extending gains from last night's rally.