The main driver of movement, at least from a UK perspective, was the latest retail sales reading. Coming in at a far worse than expected -1.9% for December, the news of a comparatively weak Christmas season weighed on sterling, which shed half a percent against the dollar and 0.2% against the euro. This allowed the FTSE to post some mild growth, though the 0.1% increase it managed this morning leaves it a long way from the all-time highs was trading at on Monday.
Looking ahead to this afternoon and it seems unlikely that the US open is going to dramatically change the tone of trading. The Dow Jones is set to open 20 points higher, just above the intraday month and a half lows it struck during Thursday. It appears that Trump’s inauguration has drawn all focus this Friday, leaving little for the market to actually work with; perhaps investors should enjoy this moment of relative calm, however, given that things could be a lot more choppy once Trump is officially in charge.