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Euro firmer after French CPI figures

Yet again the sell-off in Asia overnight has prompted declines in European stock markets. 

It was nearly a week ago since the Nikkei 225 had that sharp decline and investors around the globe are still cutting the long positions in equity markets.

Like yesterday, the firmer euro is adding to the selling pressure on eurozone equity markets.

Traders are concerned that China’s economy is slowing down, and will therefore won’t be as mineral hungry as they once were. This is putting pressure mining companies like Anglo American, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Vedanta Resources.

Shares in Fenner hit their highest level in over three year this morning after the company posted a 14% jump in revenue and a 59.1% rise in operating profits. The engineering company supplies equipment for industrial companies and the bounce back in global commodities has helped Fenner ramp up sales as many of their clients operate in the mining and energy sectors. The stock has been pushing higher since early 2016, and it could target 400p.

Talktalk shares fell to a six month low this morning after company announced it swung to an operating loss of £42 million, and that compared with an operating profit of £44 million last year. To make matters worse, the company stated that full-year earnings would be in the lower end of its £270 million to £300 million range. The share price gapped lower this morning, and if the negative sentiment continues it may target 150p.

GBP/USD dipped after the UK unemployment and earnings figures were released, even though they were respectable reports. Unemployment held steady at 4.3%, while the average earnings for the three months until September rose by 2.2%. If UK inflation and average earnings hold steady, the British consumer will stop being squeezed.  

EUR/USD continues to run higher as French inflation ticked up. The year-on-year CPI rate ticked up to 1.2% in October from 1.1% in September. The single currency hit a level not seen since late October on the back of the French report. The good growth figures from Germany yesterday and French inflation figures today point to an improving eurozone.  

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open down 117 points at 23,292, and we are calling the S&P 500 down 11 points at 2567.

At 1.30pm (UK time) the US will announce the latest inflation figures, and the annual rate is tipped to dip to 2% from 2.2% in September.

Cisco Systems and Target will announce their quarterly results today.

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