FTSE struggles to keep up with Europe

The FTSE is off by 15 points as it struggles to keep up with the optimism of the eurozone equity indices.

City of London
Source: Bloomberg

This morning should see further comments from Greece’s Syriza party as they are due to expand on their stance as far as the Troika-imposed austerity is concerned. Regardless of the promises made in their run up to gaining power, the cold hard reality of Greece’s predicament has been highlighted in the aggressive manner equity markets have thumped the Greek banks over the last week.

On top of the latest Greek twists and turns, the eurozone will also need to absorb the latest inflation figures and, judging by the worse-than-expected German inflation figures yesterday, these are unlikely to come in better than expected.

Airlines are once again making all the headlines as the sector has fresh M&A activity as Qatar Airways has taken a 9.99% stake in British Airways parent company IAG. There is every chance that this position will be added to in the future, as the Qatar sovereign wealth fund-owned airline looks to strengthen its relations. With easyJet having already posted good figures and expectations that Ryanair’s third-quarter figures on Monday will impress too, this is a sector that continues to fly.

BT Group has posted third-quarter figures, but regardless of the fact they have seen pre-tax profits jump by 13%, the looming costs of bidding for football rights, acquiring EE and having to pump a further £2 billion into the company’s pension fund have dominated traders thinking, squeezing the shares down by almost 2% in early trading.

Last night was the turn of Amazon to impress US investors with its stellar figures after market close. Success in boosting earnings per share to almost three times above expectations allowed its stock to move 15% higher in out of hours trading. Even though Google's revenue came in 23% better-than-expected, it failed to grab the same enthusiasm as Amazon.

Today it is the turn of Mastercard, Xerox and Chevron to post fourth-quarter figures. Traders will also be keeping an eye out for the latest quarterly US GDP figures at 1.30pm, which will round off a busy week for US economic news.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 27 points lower at 17,389.

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