News Column

MARKET COMMENT: UK To Open Lower Despite Strong US Close

August 26, 2014

LONDON (Alliance News) - UK stocks are set to open lower on Wednesday after Asian markets failed to follow through on a positive trading session in New York sparked by a strong US consumer confidence reading.

Futures indicate that the FTSE 100 will open nearly 10 points lower at 6,813.2 after closing at 6,822.76 on Tuesday.

Trading in Asia has been mixed Wednesday, with the Nikkei ending the day up 0.1% while the Hang Seng is trading down 0.1% and the SSE Composite in Shanghai trades up 0.1%.

In the US on Tuesday, the DJIA made gains of 0.2%, the S&P 500 closed up 0.1% and the NASDAQ Composite also ended up 0.1%. It was the first close for the S&P 500 above 2,000, ending at 2,000.02.

The FTSE 100 gaining 0.7% on Tuesday. This result was largely due to the doveish comments made by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi on Friday. Draghi said the ECB will be prepared to take further stimulus measures if the European economy requires it.

UK and other European indices shook off the news that French President Francois Hollande reshuffled his government, after the economy and education ministers publicly criticized France and Europe's austerity policies, saying that they are choking growth.

"The market reaction to the fall of the French government, as well as continued concerns about what is going in on Ukraine and Russia, appears to reinforce the modern day truth that investors react more to what central banks might do, rather than to political uncertainties, or any other external considerations," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

Tuesday also saw record consumer confidence figures from the US. The results for August rose to its highest level since October 2007, with the Conference Board index reading 92.4. The results were up on July's reading of 90.3 and outstripped the consensus of 89.0.

Similarly US durable goods orders for July grew an unprecedented 23% over the previous month, compared to 2.7% month-on-month growth in June and surpassing economists' expectation of a growth of 7.5%. The figure was skewed by The Boeing Co which signed a record number of contracts for new jets, according to government figures released Tuesday.

German consumer confidence figures on Wednesday morning came in a little lower than expectations. The GfK reading was 8.6 for September, missing the consensus and last month's figure of 9.0. The German economic confidence has been undermined by the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, due to Germany's strong trade relations with Russia.

Evraz reported swinging to an interim pretax profit in results released early Wednesday. The FTSE 250 company recorded a USD85 million interim pretax profit, compared to a USD139 million loss a year earlier.

Interim results were also have been released from Foxtons, Hansteen Holdings and John Laing Infrastructure Fund.

By Neil Thakrar;

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Source: Alliance News

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