FTSE to dip after bank holiday break

WITH the UK stock market closed yesterday for the bank holiday, a fairly weak start is forecast for the open this morning, following a negative cue from US shares yesterday.

GFT is quoting the FTSE 100 index to open down 22 points from Friday’s close, at a level of 5,179, despite the index managing to snap a two-week losing run on Friday. A break below the technically important level of 5,200 is now once again on the cards.

After what has been a tough month for stocks globally, the hits just keep on coming. Yesterday personal income data from the States came in weaker than expected, following comments from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday – meant to be a reassurance, a clear vow of action if the economy suffers again – but which have been read by the market with a touch of desperation. President Obama also stepped in yesterday in attempt to allay fears over a potential double-dip recession, but the reaction from US markets suggests he came well short of doing so, serving instead to unsettle already edgy traders. Trading is expected to continue to be thin but erratic ahead of a barrage of heavy-weight economic data due out later this week including the European Central Bank announcement on Thursday and updates on the US employment situation on Friday by way of the non-farm payrolls report and overall unemployment rate.

Martin Slaney is director of global dealing operations at GFT