Good Day Users;
stock markets in Europe are expected to open broadly flat this morning, following overnight losses in Asia as investors booked profits on the back of a strengthening yen.
The FTSE 100 is expected to open down eight points this morning at 6,302, the German Dax will edge up by seven points to 10,380, while the French CAC will move north by three points to 4,572.
Asian markets started the week with a loss in early morning trading, as investors cashed in ahead of meetings of both the Bank of Japan and the US Federal Reserve later this week.
The Nikkei 225 was off by 0.74 per cent, mirroring the yen’s gains – which was up 0.65 per cent. All of China’s major bourses also chalked up losses, as did the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and benchmark indices across the region.
Half of the analysts polled by Reuters expect the Bank of Japan to announce further easing on Thursday. Japan dipped into negative interest rates at the start of the year, though many expect them to sink lower than the current rate of minus 0.1 per cent.
For the Fed, the chances of rates going up from their current target range of between 0.25 – 0.5 per cent are slim, but markets will be watching the words of chair Janet Yellen for any forward guidance as to when the next round of tightening is likely to occur.
Oil prices dropped back by 1.33 per cent in early morning trading, falling below the $45 a barrel mark. Analysts said this was due to profit taking rather than a change in fundamentals.
In Europe, President Barack Obama continues his visit to Germany. After leaving the UK last night he met Chancellor Angela Merkel and made a plea for progress to be made on the US-EU trade deal – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The big corporate story of the day in the UK will take place away from the stock markets, however, as embattled retailer BHS looks set to announce it will go into administration, putting 11,000 jobs at risk.