The FTSE 100 is trading flat this afternoon after the excitement of corporate earnings wore off.
Investors had initially been boosted by rose by Astrazeneca’s upbeat quarterly results, which is now trading up 0.8 per cent.
Banks are proving to be a drag on the FTSE this afternon which slipped to trade down 0.04 per cent. Natwest fell 2.3 per cent while Lloyds and Barclays slipped 1.9 and 1.7 per cent respectively.
It follows dismal results for German bank Commerzbank which recorded a €2.7bn loss in the fourth quarter.
Royal Dutch Shell is down over two per cent after telling investors its oil business is past its peak. The oil major said it expects a gradual reduction in crude production.
Bottling company Coca-Cola HBG is today’s best performer after reporting that it had improved its profit margins, despite seeing a fall in annual volumes and revenues, due to changing consumer behaviour as a result of the pandemic.
European indices tracked higher with Germany’s Dax up 0.7 per cent with France’s Cac traded flat at 0.03 per cent. The pan-European Stoxx 600 is up 0.4 per cent.
Elsewhere Asian shares reached record highs on Thursday as investors digested meaty gains.
S&P 500 futures were trading 0.3 per cent higher following reports of US President Joe Biden’s call with Xi Jinping, where the president said a free and open Indo-Pacific was a priority.