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The start of a fresh month has come as a welcome relief for traders, even though the FTSE starts this month only 13 points lower than it started July. Lost momentum and global concerns are weighing heavily on investor outlook – no surprise when you consider that Portugal’s largest lender is possibly going to require re-financing as its shares tumble over 40%. Argentina has once again defaulted on its sovereign debt and the situations in Ukraine and Gaza show no sign of abating.
International Airlines Group has posted a first-half operating profit and impressed the markets with its confidence in pushing ahead with upgrades to their carrier fleet; all the more encouraging when you consider both the currency implications and the difficult fuel hedging market. Fund management firm Man Group has warned of continuing difficulties during the rest of the year, and even with funds-under-management increasing by 7% the shares are off by 4.5%.
After dropping almost 2% yesterday and finding itself almost back to levels seen at the beginning of the year, US Dow futures have traded a little more positively this morning, looking destined to being driven by the day's economic data releases. An hour before the US markets open we will see the latest non-farm employment change along with the underlying unemployment level, hourly earnings and personal spending. Currency traders as well as equity traders will be closely monitoring this as they are all boxes that will need to be ticked in order for the Federal Reserve to seriously debate a start date for any increase to the US interest rate.
Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start just 5 points higher at 16,568.