Rising half a percent the FTSE will be hoping to cross the 7200 mark by the time the day is over, with healthy gains in the mining and banking sectors helping to boost the UK index. The pound, meanwhile, took 0.1% off of both the dollar and the euro – that keeps sterling at a 5 week high against the former, and a near 3 week peak against the latter. After the Supreme Court and BT (which has fallen a further 1% after the bell) excitement of Tuesday this morning looks a bit bland, however, with nothing much on offer.
Over in the Eurozone the DAX and CAC joined in with the early gains, with both indices jumping 0.9% as the day got underway. The former will be keeping its eye on the one notable piece of data this morning: the German Ifo business climate figure. Analysts are expecting a slight increase from 111.0 to 111.3 month-on-month; if accurate that would be the best reading in almost 3 years.
As for earnings, while there was nothing as dramatic as BT’s big stink, Restaurant Group gave it a good go, falling more than 9% after revealing its latest trading update. The company, which owns the likes of Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkel’s, reported a 3.9% decline in annual like-for-like sales, with a pronounced 5.9% drop in the fourth quarter. It also warned that the new minimum wage would push up costs across 2017, with its first half trading expected to ‘remain difficult’.