Quiet Friday for Europe

European equity markets have followed the negative tone from the overnight session in Asia and are set to end the week on a downbeat footing. 

Shoppers on an escalator
Source: Bloomberg

That being said, the overall performance of equities from the mid-point in November has been encouraging, although without the wholehearted support of buy-on-dip traders.

With the US off due to Thanksgiving celebrations equity volumes were only at 60% of the average November trading day. The short-lived recovery in the FTSE mining sector was partly to blame for the reversal of yesterday’s performance, and once again commodity names are weighing down the FTSE and ensuring that we are lagging our European colleagues.

Anglo American has been forced to close its Drayton coal mine as the Australian government has blocked plans to expand its current operations.

A solid set of first-half figures has seen water and waste firm Pennon increase its interim dividend by 4.8%, but even more encouragingly for investors was confirmation that is well on track to meet full-year targets.

Once again Black Friday is upon us as retailers have swamped newspapers and social media with advertising. Traders will be waiting to see who is first to report ‘record sales’ from today’s shopping bonanza. As ever the devil will be in the detail, and seasoned traders are only too aware that record sales do not automatically translate into record profits. Time will tell whether all the hullabaloo has really been worth it. The half session in the US today will doubtless be a quiet one, and the Dow Jones is currently expected to open at 17,797, down 16 points from Wednesday’s close. 

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