Asian markets were today still feeling the benefits of Friday's unexpected interest rate cut in China as they closed higher. Europe on the other hand has already seen the security of the Asian superpower's proactive actions dissipate. France, Germany and Italy are all due to hear the European Commission’s consensus of their draft budgets and all three will be more than a little apprehensive.
An unexpected profit warning from Petrofac, the oil and gas company, has seen markets wallop the shares. After only an hour's trading they are off over 20%. With Friends Life terminating its share buyback plans it appears that the UK insurance company’s status with Aviva is 'more than just friends'. An example of how UK banks have hit hard times is the possibility of the Royal Bank of ScotlanD selling off Coutts to Italian banking interest, which looks all the more probable. Asda, no doubt prompted by its US owner Walmart, has already started its sales drive to the end of week's Black Friday. As Tesco has already stated, it believes this US-inspired day of shopping frenzy could be bigger than Boxing Day, so we should only expect the hype to escalate.
Even with this being a short week, courtesy of Thanksgiving, there will be plenty for US traders to get their teeth into, on top of the usual turkey. With OPEC meeting on Thursday and oil prices still struggling around the $80 level, Wednesday's US oil inventories result has taken on a little more meaning.
Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 32 points higher at 17,842.