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FTSE flat and Royal Dutch in the red

The FTSE 100 is marginally in positive territory and traders are cautiously optimistic. 

Financials, miners and consumer stocks are in demand today as it is a broad based move higher.  

Royal Dutch Shell stated that fourth-quarter profit on a current cost of supplies (CCS) basis came in at $4.3 billion, which up 140% on the year – while the forecast was for $4.24 billion. The company greatly improved cash flow as it cut costs and the year was described as ‘transformation’. Dealers took their profits in early trading and the stock is down 1.1% on the day, but it has been in an upward trend for the past two years so we may see fresh buyers enter the fold.

Cranswick stated it had a strong third-quarter thanks to a positive Christmas period. The company announced that export sales are ‘well ahead’ and that investment to boost capacity is at record levels – which tells us how optimistic the company are.  The stock is up 3% today.

The US dollar is in the red again as the Fed kept interest rates on hold last night. The US central bank altered their outlook on inflation slightly, as they stated the ‘market based measures of inflation compensation have increased’ recently but remain weak.

EUR/USD is firmer this morning as the eurozone posted respectable manufacturing figures. France and Germany had solid readings, but Italy was the best of the bunch as the level was the highest in nearly seven years.

GBP/USD is up on the day even though the UK showed a slightly softer reading than the preliminary report on manufacturing. In January the British manufacturing sector had a reading of 55.3, while the preliminary reading was 56.5. The pound has pulled back since the announcement.

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open up 6 points at 26,155, and we are calling the S&P 500 up 7 points at 2830.

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