FTSE loses Friday’s gains

Having enjoyed fairly solid gains this morning, the FTSE 100 has slumped back to finish the day barely unchanged.

With little news to enliven major markets, all indices have struggled to make much progress. Bid talk for Invensys has been the main event, but aside from this we have been left directionless. Miners dropped back following yesterday’s gains, but this is more due to profit-taking than anything more substantial.

US bank earnings today have come in ahead of expectations, with JP Morgan and Wells Fargo exceeding forecasts. Profits were up 31% and 20% respectively, with signs of health feeding through at both businesses.

Looking to the week ahead, the main event will be Chinese GDP. The Chinese finance minister signalled today that Beijing would not be unduly disturbed if economic growth fell below 7%, although the official target is 7.5%. A weak reading will start the new week on a rather poor note, with miners likely to suffer, even if Chinese growth is still far in excess of that in the west.

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