The FTSE was down 12 points in early trading with Informa, Burberry and Pearson the biggest casualties.
Informa, the events and specialist publishing group, has agreed a merger with smaller events-focused rival UBM in a deal that is expected to generate “significant synergies”. The news has been greeted with a shareholder sell-off with the share price down almost 10% in early trading.
Trading updates from Burberry and Pearson have left shareholders a little underwhelmed too, with both stocks falling more than 6% in early trading.
Bitcoin’s recent fall has put cryptocurrencies under pressure, with the cyber currency falling below $12,000 this week, from highs of $20,000 in December. FxPro analyst, Edward Anderson noted “The concern around regulatory restrictions has seen cryptocurrencies come under selling pressure. With the impending G20 summit scheduled in March, policy makers could result in a stronger regulatory restrictions which will further dampen demand for cryptos.”
Over in the US, equity markets closed lower yesterday on their return to regular trading hours, “with the Dow Jones wiping out a 240 point gain to notch its biggest one-day reversal since February 2016.” commented Accendo Markets analyst, Mike van Dulken. “United Technologies was the biggest laggard, reflecting tech weakness on both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, the former having traded above 2,800 for the first time earlier in the session while the latter was the notable underperformer of the day.”
US equity investors should note that Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs release Q4 earnings around lunchtime.