Anticipate small gains in a big week for Europe

LAST week was all about the US, but after investors were handed conflicting jobs data from the ADP employment report and the non-farm payrolls numbers from the world’s largest economy, ultimately it was something of an anti-climax.

This week the focus is expected to shift to Europe, and a cautious start is the forecast at the open of European bourses this morning ahead of some nervy government bond issues.

GFT is quoting the FTSE 100 index to open up 6 points from Friday’s close, at a level of 5,990. The German Dax is called up 10 points at 6,957, and the French CAC is quoted up 5 points at 3,970.

Portugal, Italy and Spain all come to the market with bond tenders this week, along with Germany and the Netherlands, and demand will be closely watched particularly for the fiscally weaker issues amid a backdrop of mounting debt worries for the Eurozone.

It’s also rate decision time for the ECB and Bank of England, with both announcements out on Thursday. Both banks are expected to maintain their current policy, so most interest is likely to centre on whether the monetary policy committee will continue to show a three-way split on the decision as to how best to proceed.

Martin Slaney is GFT’s director of global dealing operations.