Blue Monday sees flat FTSE

On what many claim to be the most depressing day of the year, heading into the close the FTSE 100 is up a miserly one point.

The FTSE has gone nowhere fast over the last three trading days, and without the stimulus of US traders continues to be bogged down around the 6830 level. The lack of either economic or corporate news flow has left traders twiddling their thumbs, trying not to fall asleep in the malaise of lethargy sweeping the city.

Deutsche Bank weighs on Europe

Deutsche Bank’s weekend announcement has hung over most of Europe, as banks have once again seen fears of further regulatory fines hang over them. The German bank's €965 million loss has many wondering exactly how many skeletons were in its closets, and whether there are any left. These figures have subsequently ensured that both the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays have acquired spots as the FTSE’s biggest fallers.  

Weekend press speculation that Tesco is once again considering mounting a bid for Mothercare has seen shares in the baby goods retailer spike 7.5% higher, while Tesco’s shares have drifted down by over 0.5%. The respective price action has left no doubt as to who the beneficiary of any tie-up would be. 

Business has been sufficiently buoyant for Laura Ashley that they have felt able to issue a special extra 1p dividend to its shareholders. Considering the shares have spent the last three months oscillating 25p, this is particularly rewarding for its shareholders.

US calm before week's earnings

The welcome respite of a long weekend is being enjoyed by US traders, as Martin Luther King Day has broken up the procession of US corporates posting quarterly figures. Today is just the calm before the storm, however, with a particularly cluttered list of companies still to report this week. Amongst them are IBM, eBay and Microsoft. IG has extended trading hours on 17 major US stocks, including these three.

Gold above 50-day average

Gold continues its drunken stagger higher. Now that it is comfortably above the 50-day average, it will have its sights set for the next hurdle of the 100-day moving average. 

Considering the overnight drop in Chinese yearly industrial production, copper has remained remarkably resilient. Of course, when put into context, what Western country wouldn’t love to have their industrial production drop to 9.7%?

EUR/USD eyes next hurdle

After garnering so much support previously from the 100-day moving average, EUR/USD will now see this level revert into being one problematic to clear. A scarcity of economic data has seen thinner volumes and a respite from last week’s negativity, and support is creeping back in above the 1.3500 level. 

GBP/USD has spent most of the day going nowhere, but it has quickly bounced back above the 50-day moving average after last week’s brief dalliance below.

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