US markets set to open weaker

US markets look set to finish off the week with a whimper rather than a bang.

The likely soft start on Wall Street can be partly attributed to the lack of corporate news now that the US reporting season is over, along with a dearth of economic data. With these two potential catalysts absent it feels very much like US traders already have one eye on the weekend.

The FTSE 100 has been the only European market to show any real willingness to head higher ahead of the US open. The FTSE’s heavier weighting of mining stocks has helped the index to buck the overall. Arguably, the miners are simply benefiting from a bounce following a rough week, but with Evraz, Fresnillo, Anglo AmericanGlencore Xstrata and Randgold Resources making up the top five risers at 1pm (London time), it’s a fairly strong weighting.

The FTSE has also been boosted by an  improved trade balance, after the UK’s deficit dropped to £8.1 billion rather than the expected £8.4 billion, as well as the continuing efforts of traders to make up the fall following Mark Carney’s comments earlier in the week.

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