Barclays' figures stem FTSE losses

It’s been a choppy morning so far in London, but trades have been mostly to the downside ahead of big US numbers despite a warm reception for Barclays’ quarterly figures.

Barclays bank branch
Source: Bloomberg

The big news of the day is still to come and as such the FTSE 100 is drifting this morning, although at least Barclays and the wider bank sector is doing its bit to stem the losses. Shares in the bank are up over 4%, as markets give the numbers a thumbs up despite a drop in revenues at the investment banking division and yet another increase in PPI provisions. Litigation worries will stalk the bank for the rest of the year, even if the earnings momentum seen in this recent update can be sustained.

Antofagasta led the mining sector down as investors fretted about the rationale for increasing copper output at a time when the broader market is expected to record ongoing surpluses. Couple that with rising labour costs and it looks like a grim future for Antofagasta shares.

There will barely be time to pause for breath today once US data starts emerging, with ADP numbers kicking off the afternoon, followed swiftly by US GDP and then the Federal Reserve meeting. It feels like markets have been on hold for the week so far, seeing jumpy trade on conflicting expectations about the outcomes today. Sentiment still seems weak following news of fresh sanctions against Russia, so a weaker ADP or GDP number could see the selling of yesterday turn into something more serious.

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow Jones to open 14 points higher at 16,926.

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