FTSE stumbles as profit-taking sets in

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is down five points as profit-taking appears to be the order of the day.

City of London
Source: Bloomberg

In London, stocks have taken a breather after yesterday’s surge, equities have run out of steam and traders can’t decide to put their feet down again or jump off the gravy train. 

Corporate news is providing background noise but all eyes are on the Eastern Front. Russian trucks are en route to the Ukrainian broader with aid supplies; this could be a sign that relations between Moscow and Kiev are thawing out. The sanctions that have been slapped on by both sides have a strangle hold on markets, and the restrictions will need to be lifted before we see any conviction buying.

Ladbrokes posted a drop in profits of nearly 50% and that includes a ‘good’ World Cup, but the disappointing figure still exceeded expectations. Serco, frequently referred to as 'the company that runs the UK' registered a first half loss. The outsourcing company was hit by restructuring costs and is losing government contracts. Just Eat impressed traders by delivering a 178% jump in profits. The online takeaway service continues to add new restaurants to its books. Prudential is leading financials higher after revealing double-digit growth in both profits and dividend pay-outs. 

In the US, we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 20 points higher at 16,589. The US is less exposed to the Russian situation and the geographical buffer has helped too. 

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