Profit-taking lowers FTSE

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is down 30 points as traders take their profits ahead of tomorrow's US Federal Reserve meeting.

The clock is ticking in countdown to the taper, and traders square up their positions ahead of the Fed announcement tomorrow. Investors know they were lucky to avoid a trimming of the bond-buying scheme in September and now they are not taking any chances, especially after yesterday’s rally. 

In London the mining sector is under pressure as the short-term cost of borrowing for Chinese banks has jumped to a seven-week high as lenders scramble to meet end-of-year reserve requirements. 

The German ZEW report smashed expectations, widening the gap between Germany and France as the second largest country in the eurozone slides towards another recession. 

Royal & Sun Alliance is bucking the trend but only because of the recent share price collapse due to irregularities at its Irish unit. The insurer may have to asset-strip in order to shore up its balance sheet. 

In the US, we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 10 points lower at 15,874, as tapering fears take over. 

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