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In London natural resource stocks are weighing on the overall market, after China released a manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) report below analysts’ expectations, of 51.6, at 51.1. The HSBC Chinese manufacturing PMI report yesterday also missed estimates.
The US government has begun its partial shutdown after the Democrats and Republicans proved unable to reach an agreement over the budget. Traders have shrugged off the deadlock as unlikely to affect the US credit rating.
In corporate news, Unilever issued its first profit warning for ten years. The multinational consumer goods company stated that third-quarter sales growth will come in between 3-3.5%, which compares with growth rates of 5% in the previous two periods. The stock is down 3.8%.
Wolseley revealed a 138% increase in full-year pre-tax profit. The plumbing and building supply group is returning £300 million to shareholders in the form of a special dividend, and the stock is up 2%.
In the US we are expecting the Dow to open 25 points higher at 15,154, as US index futures regain some of last night’s losses.