Equities are set to finish down on the week as traders are still afraid to get back in the water after yesterday’s tsunami sell-off. The FTSE 100 veered around the 6480 mark for most of the day as dealers remained on the sidelines. Mining stocks managed to pull back some of the losses from yesterday but that is partially assisted by the hopes of a Chinese stimulus package. Royal Bank of Scotland has shaken off a downgrade from Investec and in now is now in positive territory.
US equities are barely changed as traders enjoy the calm after the storm. Weaker-than-expected consumer confidence figures have calmed tapering fears but traders haven’t forgotten that jobless claims are near a six-year low. Tapering concerns kicked off in May when Ben Bernanke suggested the bond-buying programme could be trimmed towards the end of the year, and as we approach September these fears are growing.
Copper is in the black after rebounding from yesterday’s decline; the trend in the red metal has turned around as even though Chinese manufacturing is weak, the speculation of a stimulus package is propping up metals. Gold is in positive territory for a second day in a row as investors fly to quality.
The US dollar is up versus most major currencies as traders know the Federal Reserve is using unemployment to measure its QE programme and the strong jobless claims figures take preference over housing starts and building permits.