European markets are set to open lower with investors spooked overnight by a widely watched survey showed factory activity in China shrank by the most in two years.
The FTSE 100 is expected to open five points lower at 6,691 this morning, with the German Dax four points lower at 11,304 and the French Cac four points lower at 5,078.
In corporate news Britain's biggest bank HSBC reported a 10 per cent rise in profits to $13.6bn (£8.7bn) for the first six months of this year, compared with $12.3bn a year ago. The bank beat expectations for $12.5bn.
The owners of low-cost fitness chain Gym Group are eyeing a £300m float on the London stock market just over a year after abandoning plans to merge with rival Pure Gym.
And Arriva, the company which runs London’s distinctive Routemaster buses, could make a return to the London stock market five years after being privatised.
"We are executing the actions that we announced at our investor update in June and our focus is on making significant progress during the remainder of the year," the company said.
The Athens Stock Exchange is expected to fall sharply when it re-opens this morning after five weeks of being shut. It was closed on June 26, ahead of the government’s imposed capital controls to stop the possibility of capital flight from the country.
- HSBC's profit rose 10 per cent to $13.6bn (£8.7bn) in the first six months of this year.
- Intertek's pretax profit rose to £139.1m in the six months to the end of June, from £119.8m during the same period a year earlier,
- German lender Commerzbank's second-quarter net profit more than doubled to €280m (£197m).
- Heineken's net profit rose to €1.14bn, up 88 per cent from €631m a year earlier.
- Advisory firm AlixPartners has nabbed Simon Freakley to be co-chief exec alongside current chief exec Fred Crawford.
- PMI manufacturing, Germany, 8.55am
- PMI manufacturing, EU, 9.00am
- PMI manufacturing, UK, 9.30am