Stocks slip over Syria

Equity markets are offside as traders prove reluctant to buy after yesterday’s sell-off, due to uncertainty over Syria.

Last night a number of US Republican politicians voiced their support for president Barack Obama’s call to launch an attack on Syria. Investors remain nervous even though no plans have yet been made to invade the troubled Arab state.

On this side of the pond it has been a positive morning in terms of economic data, as both Spain and the UK have announced stronger-than-expected services purchasing managers index (PMI) reports. The Spanish services sector expanded for the first time since June 2011.

Ashtead Group posted a 24% increase in first-quarter revenue and has since stated that full-year results will be ahead of expectations. Despite the positive update, however, the equipment rental firm’s share price is down 1.9%.

Low cost airline Ryanair is down 14% after the firm stated that it could miss full-year profit forecasts. The Irish air carrier blamed the economic downturn in Europe for its weaker performance. TUI Travel and International Consolidated Airlines Group off are 3.25% and 3% respectively.

At 1.30pm (London time), the US will announce the latest trade balance figures; if the report is positive we could see equities rise.

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