FTSE stability provides optimism

European indices seem to have found some sense of stability this week, following on from a shocking week.

Source: Bloomberg

Asian markets have also paused for breath, with only the Japanese suffering heavily, as its plays catch-up after a national holiday yesterday.

There is a feeling that perhaps the selling pressure that has characterised stock markets last week may ease somewhat, as profit-taking among shorts and bargain hunting takes hold.

However, with earnings season now underway, the selloff seen in 2016 so far could provide great buying opportunities for those expecting to see positive updates.

UK manufacturing continues to suffer, as the manufacturing production figure for November seemingly confirmed the weakness that last week’s PMI reading alluded to, with a second consecutive month-on-month reading of -0.4%.

With industrial production suffering alongside manufacturing in November, it is clear that the notion of a rebalancing within the UK economy is far from realistic for the time being.

Morrisons provided the first of the supermarket trading updates, with the Bradford-based firm announcing its first sales growth in four years.

Market sentiment surrounding the dominant supermarket firms has been waning with the continued ascent of German discount firms Lidl and Aldi, alongside worries over the potential entry of Amazon into the sector. However, today’s news proves there may be hope yet for the traditional UK firms who hope to claw back ground despite the one-way battle that has been waging over recent years.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start six points lower, at 16,392.

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