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London stocks open on a lower note

Written by | 1970-01-01 00:00:00 GMT

The FTSE is somewhat deflated this morning despite economic indicators showing some improvement in the UK economy in March and April as a number of services companies, pharmaceuticals and miners drag down the index.

The first quarter reporting season in the US started off stronger than expected with better than expected results from JP Morgan and Wells Fargo and will get under way in earnest this week with reports from a whole set of industries starting with Citigroup later Monday.

President Trump has let off another bombshell for the markets over the weekend claiming that if the Fed had handled things differently the Dow Jones Industrial Average would have traded 5,000 to 10,000 points higher by now and suggested that the Fed should go back to its bond-buying programme to support the US economy. If Trump manages to push through his views on the Fed policies the US stock markets could be in for a roller coaster ride which would start with a strong rally but might end as painfully as 2008.

Parliament recess helps pound

The pound is having a break from being buffeted by Brexit news as Parliament has stopped for recess until 23 April and any talk of leadership challenges, potential second referendums and general elections waits until the country finishes its Easter egg hunts. Sterling is trading nearly 0.2% higher against the dollar and is up 0.11% versus the euro, with some domestic economic indicators like house prices and UK store footfall showing some improvement.

Oil notches lower ahead of the OPEC meeting

As the oil cartel members are getting ready for their six-monthly in Vienna later this week Brent crude prices are notching lower this morning but are trading close to six months highs. At its previous meeting OPEC members and Russia agreed to a series of production cuts which have now been put into place and together with the US sanctions on Venezuela and Iran have reduced the amount of available supplies. The new wild card is the conflict in Libya which seems to be escalating and has the potential to disrupt supply flows further, making additional supply cuts by oil producers unnecessary.

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