Italy and Spain lag rest of Europe

The Southern European stock markets of Italy and Spain have struggled to stay in touch with the rest of Europe, which are all in the blue.

From the opening bell this morning there has been a lethargic feel to the day’s trading. It almost feels as if market volatility was used up in the lead-up and reaction to the US Federal Open Market Committee minutes released on Wednesday. Growing fears that the US was looking to introduce tapering this year caused some traders to panic.

Looking ahead of the US open, opening calls for the Dow and NASDAQ are mildly higher, with the S&P 500 called down a shade. There is far from any concise market direction and this afternoon’s University of Michigan sentiment figures could give a nudge to traders one way or another.

With next week packed with many of the biggest US companies reporting, traders are keeping a little in reserve for the potentially more volatile reactions to some of these figures.

One area of excitement is the news that Schneider Electric have offered £3.3 billion for Invensys, whose shares have subsequently surged by 15%.

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