Banks drag FTSE lower

Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is down 45 points as the banking sector leads the market lower.

HSBC in positive territory

British banks are in the bad books again as the Lloyds CEO faces a grilling over pay packets. Taxpayers have been furious that bailed out banks are paying out massive bonuses. HSBC is in positive territory as the Far East-focused bank has not fallen out of favour with the public.

Homebuilders have been hit hard over fears that Mark Carney is fuelling a property bubble. The Bank of England has stated that interest rates will remain at rock bottom for ‘some time’, which is great for existing home owners but is putting prospective first-time buyers off. Mining stocks are still higher on the week, but profit-taking has hit the sector today. 

Saga's IPO is still set for next Friday. We have seen some sellers in IG's grey market, which suggests a market capitalisation of £2.35 billion. 

IG is also operating a binary bet on the outcome of Pfizer's takeover attempt of AstraZeneca, which is indicating a 63% chance the takeover will go ahead. 

Cisco's earnings impress

In the US the Dow Jones is trading at 16,485, down 128 points on the day as traders edge away from the record highs.

Cisco Systems is up 8% after the tech company exceeded earnings estimates last night. By raising its forecast and announcing a share buyback scheme, the company ensured a solid performance was announced today.

Walmart has seen a fall in profits, the stock is only off 2% after the retailer jumped on the ‘bad weather’ bandwagon. 

Gold dances around $1300

Gold continues to dance around the $1300 mark with traders unsure if trouble in Ukraine is likely to erupt again.

Copper has eased in this trading session as traders wait to hear further details from China about the reforms set to be introduced. 

Euro falls through $1.37

The euro has finally fallen through the $1.37 level. Low inflation and minimal growth from the eurozone has made monetary easing by the European Central Bank all the more likely next month. 

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