A flat open is expected this morning after a further taper from the Fed yesterday.
Investors didn’t seem to focus too much on the weather-induced shock drop in first quarter growth in the US – to just 0.1 per cent, looking instead at the more confident Fed statement, strong ADP employment report and Chicago manufacturing numbers.
The Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for April was slightly disappointing though and, with Labour Day holidays in Europe meaning markets off for the day, the focus will be on the slew of US data coming out. Janet Yellen is set to speak at lunchtime today, too.
Meanwhile, the surge in UK house prices continues to gather pace, with Nationwide’s house prices survey showing a 1.2 per cent increase month-on-month in March. Analysts had been expecting a 0.7 per cent increase. Year-on-year, prices are up 10.9 per cent – the biggest increase seen since June 2007 and the first time prices have risen in double digits in four years.
Lloyds Banking Group has reported a 22 per cent rise in underlying profits to £1.8bn in the first quarter, as it continued to cost-cut, seeing impairment charges drop 57 per cent.
BSkyB saw profits drop 8.5 per cent to £910m in the nine months to the end of March. It’s struggling with competition from BT Sport, adding fewer customers than last year.
BG Group says ongoing problems in Egypt will hit its oil and gas production volumes this year, reporting a 10 per cent fall in pre-tax profit in the first quarter.
And Rolls Royce has confirmed it’s still in talks with Siemens over selling its energy gas turbine and compressor business. It’ll make an announcement “in due course”. The firm said revenues and profit for 2014 will be flat, owing to adverse currency movements.
Data in focus
- 9.30am: UK March M4 money supple
- 9.30am: UK March consumer credit
- 9.30am: UK March mortgage approvals
- 12.30pm: US April challenger job cuts
- 1.30pm: US Fed’s Yellen speech
- 1.30pm: US initial jobless claims
- 1.30pm: US personal consumption
- 2.45pm: US April Markit manufacturing PMI
- 3.00pm: US March construction spending