The FTSE, seemingly stuck in its own Groundhog Day, opened just below 7300 once again this morning, the index now sitting around 40 points from that level after a late slide yesterday afternoon. The pound, meanwhile, largely held onto the growth it posted on Thursday, with sterling flat at 1.25-ish against the dollar and down 0.2%, but still above 1.18, against the euro.
The day’s main news was the latest set of full year results from the Royal Bank of Scotland. The taxpayer-owned bank slumped to yet another annual loss in 2016, to the tune of a hefty £7 billion – that’s the 9th year in a row the bank has been in the red, a run that takes its total losses since the bailout at £58 billion. To make matters worse it looks like 2017 is going to take that streak to the big 1-0, with RBS stating this morning that it won’t return to profitability until 2018 at the earliest. Understandably investors weren’t impressed with these figures; however, it was also hardly a surprise, meaning the company only fell 2% after the bell.
Over in the Eurozone there wasn’t much joy, the DAX and CAC both falling 0.2% as the day got underway. The political situation in France appears to be to blame, even if consumer confidence in the country was revealed to be at a 9 year high this morning.