Services PMI figures dominate eurozone

European equity markets look to be discounting some of yesterday’s over exuberance ahead of tomorrow’s Greek and German finance minister showdown. 

Trader at work
Source: Bloomberg

The morning has been dominated by expectation-beating services PMI figures out across the eurozone and the UK. The UK has now enjoyed its twenty-fifth month of growth in this area as it continues to play a major role in helping the economy maintain its recovery.

Having now charmed the locals in Paris, London and Rome, new Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis moves onto Berlin where he will meet with European Central Bank president Mario Draghi. This roadshow has proven to be very successful to date, but tomorrow's expected meeting with German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble will ultimately define this exercise a success or failure. 

In order to ensure its status as the chip maker of choice for smartphone manufacturers, ARM Holdings has announced a new processor due for launch next year which will offer improved graphics and computer processing capabilities.

Ryanair has announced that passenger numbers for January were up by 30% to more than 5.98 million passengers, adding to the positive feeling for the Irish airline following the recent release of its impressive third-quarter figures.

Strong German subscription numbers have helped BSkyB post a 16% increase in operating profits, now up to £675 million. The second half of the year also saw 204,000 new subscribers in the UK and Ireland — the best increase the company has seen for nine years.

GlaxoSmithKline is due to announce fourth-quarter figures at midday, and the consensus is for £1.83 billion pre-tax profit. This could be as much as 34% lower than last year. Institutional investors will continue to have mixed emotions about the company that spent much of 2014 battling reputation-damaging scandals while at the same time offering an attractive yield of over 6%. 

The US reporting season continues to wind down with Twitter's Friday night figures holding the most interest before the weekend. Ahead of Friday's non-farm payrolls figures we will be able to digest today's latest ADP non-farm employment change data. How much of an indicator to Friday's figures these are is debatable.  

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 35 points lower at 17,631.

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