European equity markets are broadly unchanged as the German stock market is shut due to the country celebrating Unity Day. With a major player like Germany out of commission today, volatility on the Continent is likely to be low.
The IBEX 35 is slightly lower today as traders are still nervous about the situation in Catalonia, and the now that a general strike been called in the region, the mood is expected to remain tense. Investors despise political uncertainty and the turmoil in Catalonia is likely to weigh on investor sentiment for the entire country.
Greggs shares are up 2.2% after the company revealed a solid third-quarter update. Like-for-like (LFL) sales for the 13 weeks until the end of September were up 5%, and total sales for the same period were up 8.6%. The company is on track to achieve its full-year target. The bakery chain is continuing down the route of offering a more balanced menu – which has been successful. Society is more health conscience nowadays and Greggs are cashing in on it. The share price hit its highest level since January 2016, and if it exceeds 1334p, it may target the all-time high of 1369p.
The GBP/USD is weaker today and the unexpected contraction to the British construction sector contributed to the decline. The UK construction PMI report came in at 48.1, while traders were expecting a reading of 51, down from 51.1 in August. A reading below 50.0 indicates a contraction, and it is slightly worrying that the British construction industry went through negative growth last month.
We are expecting the Dow Jones to open 35 points higher at 22,592, and we are calling the S&P 500 up 1 point at 2530.
Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve is due to speak to 1.30pm.
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