What you need to know before the open
Europe is expected to open lower this morning, after disappointing Chinese manufacturing data and yesterday’s release of the latest Federal Open Market Committee minutes.
The minutes showed a further taper of $10bn is likely in March.
The Chinese HSBC purchasing managers’ index has come in at 48.3, considerably below expectations of 49.4.
Centrica has reported a fall in profit before tax to £1.6bn from £2.4bn in 2012. The troubled gas and energy firm is feeling the heat, both politically and publicly, after upping bills by 9.2 per cent last autumn.
British Gas profit dropped six per cent to £571m in 2013.
Defence contractor BAE Systems has said earnings could fall by as much as 10 per cent in 2014. With 2013 figures reflecting its Typhoon jet deal with Saudi Arabia, 2014 will also be affected by US budget pressures, it said.
And in the US, Facebook has agreed a $19bn sum for Whatsapp, in its biggest acquitision yet.
The hope is for signs of improvement for both France and Germany when it comes to manufacturing and services data, out this morning. January saw France improve slowly, but still in contraction.
Data in focus
- 7.58am: France Feb PMI 8.28am: Germany Feb PMI
- 8.58am: Eurozone Feb PMI
- 9.30am: UK Jan CML gross mortgage lending
- 11.00am: UK Feb CBI industrial trends
- 1.30pm: US Jan CPI + weekly initial jobless claims
- 3.00pm: Eurozone Feb consumer confidence
- 3.00pm: US Feb Philly Fed survey + Jan leading indicators