FTSE higher but lacking enthusiasm

As ever the FTSE is lacking the enthusiasm of other equity markets, but it is still 35 points higher in early morning trading.

Hewlett Packard sign
Source: Bloomberg

Food retailers again hog the headlines, with Tesco continuing to piece together its battered reputation with the addition of Compass Group's Richard Cousins and Ikea’s Mikael Ohlsson as non-executive directors. 

WM Morrison remains determined to take the price-cutting fight to its competitors, with the promise of more discounts to their goods ahead of Christmas. 

The Egyptian government’s efforts to restore market confidence in the country have seen them belatedly pay $350 million to BG Group as it starts to tackle outstanding debts. As encouraged as the energy company will be, they will undoubtedly not be fully factoring in the remaining balance of the $1.2 billion still owed just yet. 

Commodity stocks look set to dominate the FTSE this week, with Brent crude trading down around the $92/barrel level and gold now having broken below the psychological $1200 level.  

The final countdown to Alcoa kicking off the latest US reporting season has begun, with the US aluminium manufacturer set to start the ball rolling on Wednesday. 

Hewlett and Packard look set to go their separate ways with a split likely to improve valuations for both parties. Once again IG is offering extended trading hours on all the major US corporations reporting over the coming weeks, and the company is up over 5.5% in trading so far today. 

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 68 points higher at 17,077.  

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