Carney faces Treasury select committee grilling

Retail and defence firms are in focus this morning, while Mark Carney will provide more insight into the current state of the UK economy. 

London Stock Exchange
Source: Bloomberg

The latest inflation report hearing will see BoE governor Mark Carney once again face a grilling on the country’s current rate of inflation. Mr Carney’s reputation for handling tricky questions is well founded and these verbal jousts invariably see the Canadian coming away with his reputation enhanced.

Falling French sales have only partially been balanced out by buoyant Screwfix sales at Kingfisher. The DIY firm has seen third quarter profits drop by 6.6%, hampered even further by the £17 million loss in currency movements. AO World has had plenty of problems of its own, so the jump in first-half revenue by 21.7% will have come as welcome news. Regardless of this revenue turnaround, the online electrical goods retailer has still failed to create an operating profit.

The past 24 hours have seen investors become increasingly more optimistic towards defence stocks, as the government has done an aggressive turnaround from its budget cutting 2010 defence review. The release of Babcock’s improving first-half figures has benefited from this upturn in sentiment and the firm’s confidence of meeting full-year expectations has contributed to the defence contractor’s current position as the highest climbing FTSE stock.   

Syrian airspace has become increasingly populated by military planes from a variety of nations and today’s news that the Turkish air force has shot down a Russian military jet is merely confirmation of the situation's complexity.  The subsequent collapse in Turkish lira and equities reflects how nervous investors are over military action in Syria. 

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 52 points lower, at 17,740.

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