The UK index rose a measly 0.2% (admittedly better than the DAX and CAC, which fell 0.2% and 0.3% respectively), failing to make the most of the half a percent drop from cable and the near 9% surge from Tesco. Investors are clearly pleased at the aggressive expansion the supermarket seems to have in mind, Tesco aiming to be even more of an unchallengeable leader in the sector than it already is.
Hopefully there will be a bit more excitement this afternoon following a flurry of key US data, chief among the day’s figures being the first glimpse at the Q4 GDP. Things are expected to have slowed down quite a bit from the third quarter, with analysts forecasting a drop from 3.5% to 2.1% at the annualised rate.
If accurate that decline might take the edge of the dollar’s early gains, with the greenback rising half a percent against the pound, euro and Japanese yen. That in turn could free up the Dow Jones for a fresh record peak, though at the same time the index itself might be disappointed in a weaker growth reading. Currently the futures are suggesting the Dow will creep 25 points higher after the bell, seeing it gradually build on the 20100 level it crossed for the first time yesterday.