Corporate news flow back in focus

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 15 points, as traders ease back into the swing of things now that the spectre of US default has been avoided.

The start of a fresh week where markets can once again focus on corporate news-flow should hopefully see traders with a cheerier disposition, having left behind the cloud under which they've been sitting for the last couple of weeks. 

The FTSE has a number of companies going ex-dividend today, among them BAE Systems and HSBC Holdings which has seen almost 6.5 points taken out of the index.  

As expected the UK government has announced that EDF will build a nuclear power station for £16 billion, and it is anticipated that around a third of the funding for this will come from China. Following George Osborne and Boris Johnson's business trip earlier in the month, it is likely that we will see a number of projects being partially funded by Asian money. 

In other news, the London Crossrail project has confirmed that it has awarded a £64 million contract to Balfour Beatty for the electrification of the track, while the weekend's press speculated that Charterhouse Capital Partners is considering making a £1 billion offer for G4S’s cash solution arm.

The US reporting season continues today with Halliburton, Hasbro, McDonald's Corp, Netflix and Texas Instruments among some of the bigger names reporting third-quarter earnings. In total this week will see almost 30% of the S&P 500 reporting figures, offering plenty to keep traders busy. 

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow Jones to start five points higher at 15,404.

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