FTSE down as equities see slow start

Across the board European markets are lacklustre and the FTSE 100 is no exception, down 10 points in the first hour of trading.

London skyline
Source: Bloomberg

The start of both a new week and new month has seen equities get off to a sluggish start. The absence of the US quantitative easing process has been a short-lived problem with the Japanese quickly offering an alternative option for markets. Traders will have an abundance of both economic and corporate data to digest as both US and UK equities continue to report over the week.

Today’s manufacturing PMI data covering Asia, Europe and the US will show how closely the economic picture relates to the image being portrayed by the major equity indices around the world.

This morning’s HSBC figures keep the spotlight on the dual issues facing UK bank's radars. Further funds are being allocated to historical forex operational transgressions, that are likely to see FCA penalties being imposed along with the more stringent UK bank stress tests that will need to be cleared before the end of the year.

Ryanair’s transformation continues at pace, with the 'friendlier' low-cost airline posting half-year profits up 32%, confirming that it does pay to be nice. Although 2014 has seen an increased number of quoted companies come to the market, the ratio of those companies being able to post healthy numbers and reflect a buoyant share price has been somewhat smaller.

Thankfully, Just Eat has bucked both of those trends, doubling its third-quarter sales while flirting with new highs for its share price.

Mike Ashley’s grip on struggling Scottish giants, Rangers FC, now looks all the more secure with the announcement that ex-Newcastle man Derek Llambias has been added to the board.

AIG will be posting its latest quarterly figures today which should, in the short-term, see the market's focus shift to the day-to-day running of the company, rather than the ongoing US court cases surrounding the US government’s bailout of the global insurance firm. 

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 24 points lower at 17,366.  

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