FTSE 100 has a muted start as investors await European Central Bank big reveal

Emma Haslett
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Mario Draghi Holds First Press Conference In New ECB Headquarters
Draghi is expected to cut rates even more today (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 made a muted start to trading today, as investors nervously awaited a big reveal from the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi, who is expected to take rates further into negative territory later today.

The FTSE 100 edged down 0.1 per cent in early trading, as economists expected Draghi to cut the central bank's deposit rate by at least 0.1 of a percentage point, to minus 0.4 per cent, at a press conference today.

"The significance of this meeting is very much reliant on the ECB's artistry to benchmark the health of the economy," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade.

"The bank will be using all of their neoteric guidance, and given that the sell off in oil has bottomed out- at least for the time being, the bank should be able to handle headwinds much better."

Some investors were keen to get stuck in early: Aviva led the risers, jumping 2.6 per cent in early trade, to 470p, after the insurer said operating profits had risen 20 per cent in 2015, to £2.7bn.

Meanwhile, plant hire giant Ashtread Group was the biggest faller, dropping 3.9 per cent to 818p, after a downgrade by Credit Suisse yesterday.

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