The FTSE fell 0.1% as the morning progressed, dragged lower by its mining and banking stocks, with the DAX and CAC dropping by the same amount. There was slightly more movement in the forex markets, with the pound slipping half a percent against the euro, taking sterling below €1.18 for the first time in a fortnight.
Looking ahead to this afternoon and thankfully the US has one final splurge of pre-Christmas data to try and enliven the markets. The most important is the final third quarter GDP reading, which is expected to be revised to 3.3% from 3.2% (at the annualised rate). That would be the country’s best growth figure since the second quarter of 2015, a fact that could finally push the Dow Jones to 20000. Yesterday saw the Dow once again try, and fail, to hit that landmark level; now it sits 65 points away, with investors curiously unwilling to send the index to a fresh record peak. Elsewhere the durable goods orders, jobless claims, core PCE price index and personal spending readings are all scattered throughout the afternoon.