European stocks futures have been steadying further this morning after the extreme volatility seen at the beginning of the week.
Equities are expected to open slightly lower, following a record finish in the US yesterday.
US secretary of state John Kerry is set to sit down in talks with Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, today.
EU talks on the Ukranian situation will be held tomorrow. Foreign secretary William Hague has said “all options remain open”.
Fears around the turmoil are easing on markets, with investors returning to data and corporate news for direction.
Over in Asia, the Nikkei rose to a one-week high in trading today, 1.2 per cent higher to 1,212. The Topix also rose, by 0.7 per cent.
Legal and General have posted a 10 per cent rise in pretax profit, and has said it’s keen to invest in UK infrastructure projects. Chief executive Nigel Wilson advised on BBC Radio 4 this morning that the firm isn’t particularly positive on HS2, though.
Melrose Industries has said business is strengthening on the back of its “buy, improve, sell” strategy. Profit before tax rose 48 per cent in 2013.
And Admiral has described 2013 as the year of the baked potato – because the year “was solid, but not flashy”. It saw a seven per cent increase in pretax profit to £370m.
Bank Standard Chartered will post its results at 8.15am this morning.
Data in focus
- 8.48am: France Feb services PMI
- 8.58am: Germany Feb services PMI
- 9.28am: UK Feb services PMI
- 10.00am: EU Jan retail sales
- 10.00am: EU fourth quarter GDP
- 1.15pm: US Feb ADP employment
- 3.00pm: US Feb ISM non-manufacturing