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US-led losses likely to knock European markets

THE Dow suffered from its third-worst sell-off of the year on Friday following a disappointing jobs report, and the losses extended after European markets closed.

The blue chip US index even closed below the psychologically sensitive level of 10,000, and UK And European markets will feel the follow-on effects of that this morning.

GFT is quoting the FTSE 100 index to open down 60 points from Friday’s close, at a level of 5,066.

The German DAX is also expected to start lower, down 48 points at 5,890, and the French CAC is forecast to open down 35 points at 3,420.

CONCERNS OVER HUNGARIAN DEBT
Friday’s non-farm payrolls number was only part of an ever-increasing world of woe for the markets; concerns that Hungary may now face similar debt difficulties to Greece also emerged.

So the forecast for this morning’s open reflects the on-going global angst.

BP SHARE PRICES IN 200 PENCE DROP
The UK’s FTSE 100 index has faced additional particular pressure from BP – which was until recently the largest company in the index (it’s still third) – and its relatively high weighting means the drop in its share price of around 200 pence since the magnitude of the spill was revealed has taken a particularly large toll on the index.

OIL PLUG SUCCESS MAY BOOST FTSE
However the latest news over its attempts to trap oil do appear to be indicating some initial success.

If that continues – in addition to some bargain-hunting – we may see BP shares start to recover. In turn the FTSE may bounce back somewhat as the day progresses.

Martin Slaney is director of global dealing operations at GFT