Traders await rate decisions

The FTSE 100 is down 15 points mid-morning, as traders square their positions ahead of Bank of England and European Central Bank rate decisions.

Equities are a touch lower this morning, as we have a tale of two central banks.

The BoE is expected to keep rates on hold and bond buying at £375 billion, but we may hear some hawkish comments in its statement afterwards – the growing economy and talk of a property bubble could mean Mark Carney will raise rates sooner than anticipated.

The ECB is more inclined to reduce rates, as a high jobless rate, minimal growth and a relatively strong currency are keeping the eurozone in limbo. An interest rate cut or a liquidity injection could get the region working again. 

Randgold Resources has surged 7% this morning, after the miner stated it is on track to ramp-up production and trim costs. The stock is down nearly 30% year-to-date but it looks like the company's cost-cutting plan is coming into line with the price of gold

Schroders is a victim of its own success, as despite posting a jump in profits and an increase in assets under management, the stock is off 4%. Still, speculative traders would do well to keep in mind that the share price has more than doubled in the past 18 months. 

In the US we are expecting the Dow to open 15 points lower at 15,731, as dealers secure profits from yesterday's record high. 

Twitter is due to float on the New York Stock Exchange this afternoon; our grey market is indicating a market capitalisation of $23.5 billion, which would equate to a price of $43 per share.

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