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Once again BP is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons after yesterday’s US court ruling over its 'gross negligence'. This has opened up the possibility of a further $18 billion in fines and will probably encourage a fresh round of private litigation. Institutional investors will be sitting on the edge of their chairs wondering if BP will feel the need to suspend its dividend.
Also suffering at the hands of US regulators are Smith & Nephew, who have been fined $11.3 million for misleading consumers into believing its Malaysian-made products had come out of the US.
Laura Ashley has benefited from the more buoyant Chinese economy after its first-half sales increased by 15%.
Barclays look to be leading the banking revolution, as far as tackling fraud is concerned, as it launches finger scanners for its corporate clients.
The first Friday of the month can mean only one thing, non-farm payroll figures from the US. Considering the general improvement in US data we have been seeing throughout August, traders will be keeping a close eye out for any upward revisions. Any further good news out, at 1.30pm today, could keep the pressure on both the EUR/USD and the GBP/USD.
Ahead of the US open we are expecting the Dow Jones to open down by five points at 17,064.