FTSE still negative after a turbulent week

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is down over 25 points, as European sentiment has been dented by collapsing German retail sales figures.

Following yesterday’s fat-finger-filled trading day, plenty of transactions have been carried out on trading floors around the City this morning, although arguably just as many of these trades have revolved around the first set of Six Nations matches at the weekend as equities.

It has been a gruelling week for traders, who have seen markets pulled one way and then another, with FOMC tapering and crashing emerging-market currencies playing their parts. As China has started its week-long break to celebrate the start of the year of the horse, we could be set to sail on slightly smoother waters.

Hot on the heels of BSkyB’s figures yesterday, traders have been able to see how BT has fared. And so far its audacious sports play looks to be working, as the firm has seen its first quarterly growth in four-and-a-half years. The robust sign-up figures for its broadband package are suitably impressive and have helped make BT one of the biggest risers in the FTSE 100.

BAE Systems' shares, on the other hand, are wobbling as the market fears that the joint discussions between British prime minister David Cameron and his French counterpart Francois Hollande are more likely to descend into frosty one-upmanship than they are to foster greater ties between defence and energy projects.

This is another US trading day that will be packed full of corporate figures. Today it is the turn of Mattel, Mastercard, Chevron, AON and Newmont Mining to headline with their quarterly updates. Adding to the corporate releases we will also have plenty of US economic data to chew through, with personal spending and income to digest before University of Michigan consumer sentiment arrives later in the day. Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow Jones to start 110 points lower at 15,738.

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