Quiet day for world markets

America’s celebration of its independence brings with it the usual quiet day in London, while French and German traders will have been forgiven for long since closing their books and choosing a comfortable spot for a tense start to the weekend.

The City of London
Source: Bloomberg

UK markets

The old adage of America coughs and Europe sneezes applies to share volumes too, as today will be the lowest volume day of trading so far this year for the FTSE 100. Having made an effort to push towards the 6880 around lunchtime, the main market is trying to eke out a few more points into the close, currently up a touch at 6873.

Corporate news is understandably thin on the ground, but a change at the top of William Hill (+2%) will find its way into tomorrow’s papers alongside the bumper weekend of sporting action. Having endured a rocky first half in 2014, as government regulation squeezed the sector, a change at the helm from inside has been greeted well by investors. Weakness in the shares price of late has caused an uptick in broker forecasts, with a number of positive moves as recently as this week. Pundits have been quick to laud this World Cup as the greatest, and bookmakers like William Hill will certainly be hoping the quality of the matches is giving punters a reason to put their money on the line.  

Commodities / FX

With the lack of American market participants, crude oil has been rangebound today and tracking a little below $104.

Some dollar strength, since yesterday’s impressive jobs report, has seen the market offered. $1.37 was clearly too much for EUR/USD earlier in the week and the technicals lit up nicely for the sellers to come in. The question traders might have to ask themselves in this market going forward, is do they fight the ECB? 

Cable traders will turn their attention to next week’s Bank of England announcement, and the topic has to be how long before we see an end to 9-0 votes on holding rates unchanged? Whilst interest rate rises may still have to wait for next year, we have to expect the Monetary Policy Committee swingometer to start moving before the end of summer, and with a number of changes to the starting line-up in the next few months, it is an interesting time for policy watchers. 

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