The FTSE couldn’t break through 7300, the index slipping by around 10 points to loiter just under its increasingly persistent resistance level. There was hardly any movement from the pound either, with sterling flat against the dollar and up 0.2% against a fretful euro. Even Barclays, whose full year report was the most exciting thing to come out this morning, saw its gains shrink from 3.5% to 2%, investors’ glee at the bank’s nearly trebled pre-tax profit tempered by comments that it is still facing a series of conduct charges.
Things weren’t much different in the Eurozone. Despite Germany being crowned as 2016’s Best Performer in the G7 after confirming annual growth of 1.9%, the DAX couldn’t build on its recent highs, dipping back under the 12000 mark it crossed earlier in the morning. The CAC fared slightly better, the French index rising 0.1% after centrist Francois Bayrou threw his support behind Emmanuel Macron in a bid to challenge Marine Le Pen’s presidential campaign.
Looking to the US open and it is hard to see sentiment shifting in any meaningful way. The Dow Jones is set to start the session 10 points higher, putting the index within striking distance of 20800, a level it flirted with on Wednesday. As for data all that is on offer is the usual Thursday jobless claims reading, which is forecast to increase slightly from 239k to 242k week-on-week.