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UK banks in market bad books
Lloyds is leading the banking sector lower, despite swinging to a full-year profit. First Barclays and now Lloyds – the banks appear to have fallen out of favour with the public and now investors. The government has already trimmed its position in the bailed-out lender but, until all the skeletons are out of the cupboard, it will remain a substantial shareholder.
Rio Tinto raised its dividend after a series of cost-cutting measures pulled the company back from its first annual loss in 18 years last year. The increased return of capital failed to entice investors, and concerns about global demand for metals still hang over the company.
Yellen effect wears off
In the US the Dow Jones is off 20 points at 15,940, as the Yellen effect slowly wears off. US equities are still higher than before the Federal Reserve chair confirmed her commitment to keep stimulus in place, but mediocre retail sales and jobless claims figures have reminded investors that the country's economy is far from fixed.
Cisco opened lower after the company reported second-quarter figures after the close last night. A weak third-quarter outlook was the trigger for the sell-off.
Copper traders await Chinese inflation data
The rally in copper on the back of China’s extraordinarily high trade figures during the week didn’t last long. Beijing will reveal its latest set of inflation data tonight, and traders will be wondering if the numbers add up.
BoE comments still driving GBP/USD gains
The pound is extending its gains versus the US dollar as traders are pencilling in an interest rate rise by the Bank of England this time next year.