This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.
This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up 23 points at 6659.
FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down two pips at $1.6792, EUR/USD is down 11 pips at $1.3843 and USD/JPY is down 26 pips at ¥101.72. Brent crude is down 31 cents at $107.59 and gold is trading at $1318, up $6.45.
Stocks: For the eleventh straight quarter, Marks and Spencer has seen non-food sales fall and CEO Marc Bolland’s position is becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Royal Bank of Scotland has bought the government’s right for priority in any dividend payment for £1.5 billion. This is another step towards the embattled bank paying dividends to shareholders again. WHSmith has increased its dividend payments by 15% after a 3% improvement in profits. Vodafone has increased its Indian exposure with the $1.48 billion acquisition of an 11% stake in India’s Piramal Enterprises.
The day ahead: Chinese trade balance figures exceeded expectations and will set an optimistic tone for European markets. Today is a busy day for economic issues, with the Bank of England announcing its interest rate decision, followed by the Monetary Policy Committee statement and the latest monthly European Central Bank bulletin. Today is also the start of the G7 meetings and day one of the G20 meetings. Finally at 7pm we will see the US federal budget balance.
All figures correct at 8.15am. All times London time.