Greek talks leave markets fretting

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is 20 points lower, as it edges back from last week's record high. 

City of London
Source: Bloomberg

Last week saw the FTSE with the clearest sense of direction as it charged through the 7,000 level while European equities made and lost in almost equal proportions. Once again Europe is struggling for confidence as the morning session has seen the normally reliable DAX struggle to get out of bed. 

Mario Draghi is due to speak this afternoon as he testifies at the latest Economic and Monetary Affairs committee meeting in Brussels, and an update on how the combined efforts of the ABS scheme, Targeted LTRO’s and the latest round of quantitative easing are working might be the pick-me-up needed to get traders up and running.

Not surprisingly, the current saga surrounding Greece is still hanging around like a  bad penny. Alexis Tsipras is in Berlin today and in order to keep Grexit off the agenda he will need to strike a more conciliatory note than he has managed in the past.

Halfords has shored up its management team with the announcement that Jill McDonald will join as the new CEO in early May, following her departure from McDonald's.

The political arena continues to offer YouGov plenty of work following the Scottish referendum last year, and with the looming UK general election it is possibly no surprise that the pollsters have seen first-half figures jump by 16% and are optimistic about the rest of the year.

Water and waste company Pennon Group has confirmed to the markets that it will keep its dividend payment at a 4% premium of the RPI rate.

Centamin has seen the weak gold price slash its annual profits as the precious metal’s collapse has led to the company’s full-year profits dropping by 29%.

Federal Open Market Committee member Stanley Fischer is due to give a speech tonight on ‘monetary policy lessons and the way ahead’, which might shed a little more light on last week’s FOMC statement.

Certainly, the fact that the dollar looks to be reverting back to its bullish trajectory after the recent respite will be cause for concern to US exporters, as their goods become increasingly priced out by the market. With inflation remaining one of the core barometers for change traders will already be thinking about tomorrow’s inflation updates.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 42 points lower at 18,085.

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