Stocks are broadly higher this morning as recent losses have encouraged some buyers to swoop in.
Investors have shaken off the news that North Korea might pull out of its summit with President Trump, if the US insists the country must give up its nuclear weapons. Investor sentiment could change should Mr Trump reiterate his tough stance with the regime.
Micro Focus shares are in demand this morning after the company stated its first-half revenue would be better than previously forecast. In March, the firm predicted that full-year revenue would fall between 9% and 12%. This morning, Micro Focus believes the decline in sales will be at the better end of the forecast. The company landed a new $40 million licensing deal earlier than expected, and this is also boosting investor confidence. The stock is up 6.3% on the back of the news.
Mondi revealed a 15% increase in first-quarter operating profit. Initiatives to improve profit and an increase in average selling prices more than made up for the rise in costs. The company confirmed the positive outlook. Investor confidence was shaken in October 2017, when the company warned on profits due to higher costs, but the special dividend in March and the strong start to this year are bringing investors back on side. The stock price has been pushing higher since December 2017, and if the bullish move continues it could target 2,200p.
Morgan Stanley downgraded Centrica to underweight from equal weight, and cut the price target to 115p from 160p. The moves come two days after the energy supplier revealed it lost 110,000 customers in the first six months, and that trading conditions were difficult. The share price has been in decline for nearly five years, and it appears the bearish move will continue.
EUR/USD is lower again today and the weak eurozone inflation data is likely to keep pressure on the euro. The annual CPI rate in the eurozone slipped from 1.3% to 1.2% - meeting expectations. This update underlines the decline in demand in the region, which does not bode well for the single currency.
At 1.30pm (UK time) US housing starts and building permits will be released, and the consensus estimate is for 1.31 million and 1.35 million respectively.
We are expecting the Dow Jones to open flat at 24,706 and we are calling the S&P 500 up 1 point at 2712.
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