FTSE higher while Serco shares tumble

A solid start to the week with the FTSE up by 30 points in the first hour of trading.

City of London
Source: Bloomberg

Softer-than-expected inflation figures out of China overnight saw equity markets given a little wobble in early trading. Other than that, the thin economic data calendars for the first couple of the days of the week have seen equities revert back to the bullish mindset prevalent from last week.

Serco is once again at the forefront of traders’ minds and for all the wrong reasons. An impairment charge, almost as large as the companies market cap and a proposed rights issue for £550 million, has seen shares tumble. Shareholders, already punch drunk from the negative newsflow from the company over the last couple of years, have knocked almost a third off the shares in early trading.

Another nail in the coffin to the UK high street as Hammerson has seen an upturn in its shopping centre sales of 2.6% over the last twelve months.

In the run up to Virgin Money’s first trading day on Friday, the IG grey market has now drifted lower inferring a market capitalisation of £1.35 billion

After several weeks where the corporate data releases of the US reporting season have driven US equity indices higher, Monday morning’s futures market is pointing towards a lull in proceedings. The corporate calendar for the week is looking a little thinner and the feel good factor from 77% of the major equities outperforming expectations is beginning to wear off.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start seven points higher at 17,580. 

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