The FTSE opened brightly this morning, jumping 25 points in early trading.
There’s plenty of corporate news for investors to digest this morning. Spreadex Analyst, Connor Campbell commented “Of those companies that updated this Wednesday, a hiked dividend from ITV compensated for a 16% drop in first half profit, leading the media firm nearly 3.5% higher, while catering stock Compass Group climbed 1.7% following a 3.9% rise in Q3 revenue. At the other end of the spectrum, Antofagasta joined the rest of the miners in the red despite its first half production jumping 7.1%, while Sage Group and GKN were down around 3.3% apiece.”
Sterling hasn’t shared the FTSE’s optimism this morning, dropping 0.2% against the dollar and sitting flat against the euro. Connor Campbell added “The currency’s reticence may be related to the impending GDP reading, with analysts expecting an improved – but still weak – 0.3%”
US equity markets closed higher across the board yesterday as the S&P500 finished the day at a new record high. Accendo Markets Analyst, Mike van Dulken noted “Another strong session for earnings helped both the S&P and Dow Jones rally sharply, Financials, Energy and Materials rallying on the former, while top and bottom line beats for Caterpillar and McDonald’s helped lift the Dow higher, offsetting disappointing numbers from 3M.”
“The Nasdaq closed just above break-even ahead of major Tech stocks reporting on Wednesday.”
US companies reporting today include Dow Jones components Boeing and Coca-Cola, while social media leader Facebook, auto manufacturer Ford, payments processor PayPal and the world’s third largest asset manager State Street also report.
With the US Fed policy update expected later today, investors are likely to adopt their usual cautiousness as we move towards the main event. Mike van Dulken added “No change to Fed policy is expected this evening, but the statement language may offer clues on the outlook for inflation and future hikes, and of course when it plans to begin unwinding its QE-bloated balance sheet.”