The FTSE has started brightly this morning, up 10 points in early trading. This follows a mixed close on Wall Street and a weak session in Asia overnight.
In UK corporate news this morning, Vodafone beat analyst forecasts with their first quarter results, which sees a slowing down of their recent rate of decline. FTSE 250 business, Paysafe has announced a double whammy, striking a $470m deal to acquire US-based Merchants’ Choice Payment whilst receiving a a takeover proposal from private equity companies Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners.
Meanwhile, investors’ have been buoyed by yesterday’s ECB press conference, allaying fears that the recent surge in the Euro’s price would force the central bank to talk down the currency. ADS Securities Analyst, Konstantinos Anthis suggested “the head of the ECB signalled that he’s not too concerned about the low inflation levels in the Eurozone and that the current strength of the Euro doesn’t bother him at this point”, and he added “investors will focus on this month’s PMI release to facilitate a move towards the 1.1800 level”
US equity markets finished Thursday mixed, as only the Tech-focused Nasdaq built upon Wednesday’s record closing highs. Mike van Dulken noted “The Nasdaq closed higher for the 10th consecutive day, its longest streak since January 2015.”
“The S&P500, despite trading a record intraday high, closed just shy of breakeven as Materials weakness offset Telecoms strength, while the Dow Jones underperformed as Home Depot dropped 4% following Sears’ announcement of an Amazon collaboration.”
US companies reporting later today include Dow component General Electric are reporting later today alongside consumer staples giant Colgate-Palmolive, commercial conglomerate Honeywell and the world’s largest Oil services company, Schlumberger.