Lethargic markets ahead of Super Thursday

Today looks like a continuation of the lethargy that the markets have shown so far this week ahead of ‘Super Thursday’ and ‘non-farm Friday’.

Bank of England
Source: Bloomberg

As important as services PMI data might well be, it does feel a little like window dressing ahead of tomorrow’s BoE Super Thursday. If Mark Carney’s comments from last month about interest rates increasing are to be viewed as anything more than bluff and bluster we will need to see a change in the MPC’s voting, and at present that is not something that the currency markets are reflecting in sterling strength.

This week’s focus on the insurance sector stocks continues with Legal & General benefiting from the government introduced legislative changes to the annuity markets, driving its profits higher. The underlying solid figures coupled with the renewed M&A speculation triggered by Zurich’s interest in RSA should ensure this is a sector that maintains traders’ focus for some time to come.

The mining sector is also showing a little more resilience this morning with Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Glencore the biggest FTSE climbers, although that might have more to do with the bears taking a short breather rather than any improvement in the outlook for commodity demand in the near future.

We might be at the dog end of the US reporting season but there are still one or two big names posting figures. How much sympathy Walt Disney is likely to receive as it struggles with currency headwinds is debatable, especially as recent reports have highlighted the wide differences in pricing for citizens of different EU nations.

Once again the spotlight will be on Tesla as we will have an opportunity to see how much of the recent share price move has been warranted. The anticipated strides the company is expected to make surrounding batteries have seen shares rally, as the diversity of products desperate to have longer lasting lighter technology are almost endless.

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