The FTSE was up 35 points in early trading following a positive session in Asia overnight and the US yesterday.
UK investors will be focusing on UK June Retail Sales this morning. Analysts are forecasting positive growth to help the annual pace return to its 2.5% 4-month average. Accendo Markets Analyst, Mike van Dulken suggested “Watch FTSE retailers and GBP; stronger growth could imply better retailer performances and stoke the fires of inflation.”
In FTSE 100 news this morning, 2nd quarter copper production from Anglo American is up 8%, while EasyJet’s 3rd quarter revenue per seat is up to +2.2%, beating expectations giving the board confidence to increase their forecast profits for the full year. Unilever’s profits are on track to meet expectations and Sports Direct is suffering from a weak pound.
In the Eurozone, Mario Draghi is expected to make reference to a scaling back of the ECB’s asset purchase programme at today’s European Central Bank meeting. ADS Securities Analyst, Konstantinos Anthis commented “The euro has had a very good run in recent weeks.”
“Having a strong currency is a plus for the European economy but it is also stopping a rise in inflation, so is there a case for Draghi to sound positive but not over the moon.”
Over in the US, equity markets enjoyed a record breaking Wednesday as the Dow Jones joined its peers at a fresh all-time closing high. Mike van Dulken noted “While IBM weighed on the price-weighted index after soft Q2 results, Boeing and UnitedHealth led 26 of the index’s 30 constituents higher.”
“The S&P500’s tech sector surpassed its dotcom peak 17 years ago to lead the blue-chip index to a fresh high, while the tech-focused Nasdaq understandably also closed higher.”
Investors will note that US companies reporting this afternoon include Microsoft, Travellers and Visa, as well as global asset manager BNY Mellon, online retailer eBay and tobacco major Phillip Morris.