Analysts are forecasting growth of 0.5% across Q4 – a slight dip on the 0.6% produced in the third quarter, but still a solid reading considering the Brexit uncertainty that defined the second half of 2016. The problem for the FTSE this morning is that any positive reaction to the GDP number will likely be absorbed by the pound, which has continued to build on its recent highs. Against the dollar sterling has risen another 0.1%, causing cable to graze a fresh 6 week peak, while against the euro the currency rose 0.2%, leaving it a smidge away from €1.18.
While the FTSE dipped into the red, the Eurozone indices added a few more points to yesterday’s remarkable gains. The DAX jumped another half a percent and now sits just under 11900, its best price for 20 months; the CAC, meanwhile, rose by 0.3% to tickle 4900.
The morning’s other big news came in the form of an unscheduled update from the Royal Bank of Scotland. The much-troubled institution announced that it was adding another £3.1 billion to the ‘bond mis-selling scandal in the US’ pile, taking the total set aside to £6.7 billion. Despite the fact that this will result in a 9th consecutive annual loss for RBS, investors took the news in their stride, the bank actually rising by nearly 1% after the bell.