This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
In London, the banking sector is dragging the market lower after HSBC's first-half figures were good but not good enough to entice traders to go long. The largest bank in Europe announced an increase in profit but fell below expectations, prompting traders to unload positions in the Asian-focused bank. Natural resource stocks initially propped up the FTSE 100 but as the day went on dealers lost their appetite for risk.
US equities are a touch lower after last week’s mixed unemployment data left traders unsure of the Federal Reserve’s next move. If the non-farm payrolls headline figures had exceeded expectations it is likely tapering fears would have kicked in by now. With the US reporting season largely behind us, there is little newsflow that will get traders excited, but this afternoon's positive ISM non-manufacturing report did help US stocks move off their lows.
Copper is broadly unchanged on the day as slightly better-than-expected data from China over the weekend has given the country some much-needed positive news. Traders tend be fixated on the declining growth levels of the once booming economy. Crude oil has come off it recent high as tensions in Egypt have calmed down, but if the political uncertainty continues we could see another spike in the price.
Sterling received a shot in the arm after the UK services sector index for July recorded its highest level since 2007. Meanwhile, the Australian dollar is hovering around the $0.89 mark, with interest rates at a record low in Australia and the possibility of a rate-cut from the Reserve Bank of Australia.