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Equities have started the day in a sluggish mood. It may only be early in December, but traders are starting to wind down as Christmas draws nearer.
The People's Bank of China has stopped open market operations. The central bank is trying to strike a balance between providing liquidity and preventing investors from becoming addicted to cash injections.
There has been little reaction to the deal struck by the Democrats and Republicans last night to side-step another US shutdown. The real concern will be the resurfacing of the debt-ceiling debate in the new year.
The Italian prime minister Enrico Letta will undergo a vote of confidence today. As Italy holds yet another vote of confidence, this is hardly the way to instil investor confidence in the country.
Royal Bank of Scotland is in the dog-house again, as finance director Nathan Bostock quits after just ten weeks. His departure is not said to be IT-related.
In the US, we are expecting the Dow Jones to open unchanged at 15,973, as traders are indifferent to the cross-party deal over the federal budget.