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This morning’s session will be sprinkled with both industrial and manufacturing production figures from around Europe, and we will see the latest crude oil inventory figures; however, the focus of traders’ attention will be on tonight’s Mansion House speeches.
Even though Mark Carney will be on his home turf, he is almost certain to play second fiddle to George Osborne who will be using this to test the City’s waters on some of his summer budget plans now less than a month away. It is widely expected that he will outline plans of running a budget surplus, a laudable target although historically an infrequently achieved one.
Sainsbury’s has kicked off the latest round of quarterly reporting for the food retailers, and as widely expected overseen another quarter of falling sales figures. The ongoing price war and the bounce in fuel costs have both contributed to tighter margins and falling sales. However, it is not all gloomy as online sales continue to grow and the firm is confident of outperforming its peers. This has seen the shares trade higher by 3.75%, the highest climber on the day.
Scottish oil and gas company Weir Group has had to handle some tough second-quarter issues. Optimistic noises about an upturn in the second half of the year have failed to convince traders who have driven the company 3% lower, making it the biggest FTSE faller so far today.
This afternoon will see the latest oil inventory figures released following last week’s OPEC meeting. The subsequent moves in oil prices have been higher primarily due to a dwindling belief that the Saudi’s will open up the taps more fully.
Regardless of the issues hanging over the euro and sterling, both have clawed back ground against a dollar that has been found to be less able to raise interest rates than initially believed. However, with the latest Federal budget balance figures due for release, these moves could still be reversed.
Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 52 points higher at 17,816.