Financial firms dominate FTSE top five

The early charge from European markets following a generally impressive set of Chinese figures has slowly but surely dissipated as we approach the US open.

Financial firms are dominating the biggest mover’s lists, taking up the top five places on the FTSE leaderboard. However, banks have seen their market capitalisation shrink over the last few years and so carry much less of a weighting on the blue-chip index than used to be the case.

The mining sector, very much like commodity markets, is struggling to get to grips with a real sense of direction, and even the Chinese GDP figures have failed to prompt an increase in underlying commodity prices.

The morning session has had almost no European-focused economic data to muddy the waters and, following the sunny weekend, it appears that equity traders are struggling to get up to full speed. Although not as bad as a couple of months ago, volumes are still well short of normal levels and it does feel that there is a degree of fence-sitting going on.

European traders will be conscious that with large numbers of US companies reporting this afternoon, sentiment could easily change in the latter half of the day.

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