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London’s FTSE-100 is nudging fractionally higher in early trade although there’s little in the way of fundamentals for traders to be working on.

Merger talk has served to light up the tobacco sector with British American and Imperial Brands both faring well in early trade, whilst stuttering growth for the quarter has knocked hotel operator IHG, with its shares currently at the foot of the board.

The day ahead looks set to be relatively quiet, too. There are no real expectations that we will see any meaningful developments – or indeed concessions – from EU leaders at the ongoing summit, although in this vein, Nissan has confirmed that it will announce next month whether the next generation Qashqai will continue to be built in the UK – this news item could well be treated as the canary in the coal mine for the country’s post-Brexit fortunes.

Looking into next week, we have a key reading out of the US on Tuesday that could again help shape thinking over rate hikes at the Federal Reserve. Consumer confidence figures for October are set to be released and although a positive outlook is expected, the mood is tipped to be darker than it was a month ago. Central bankers need to play that difficult game of reigning in inflation without stifling consumption – if we do see a print below 100 here then the idea of a US rate hike before Christmas could take another blow.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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