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Traders braced for Hurricane Irma

Stock markets in Europe are a bit subdued this morning as investors are bracing themselves for Hurricane Irma in the US. 

As concerns grow for how much disruption and destruction will be caused on the back of the hurricane, investors are losing their appetite for risk, and buying safe haven assets like gold.  An earthquake in Mexico is also adding to dealers woes.

China posted better than expected import figures overnight, but it still couldn’t encourage buying of mining stocks like Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Glencore – which are all in the red. The price of copper is down nearly 2%, as profit taking kicked in, and this drove the mining stocks south.  

The EUR/USD hit its highest level since December 2014 overnight, and the bullish sentiment surrounding the single currency is showing no signs of slowing. Next month’s European Central Bank (ECB) meeting could give us details about trimming the bond buying scheme, and this is keeping the euro in demand. A report this morning stated, the ECB discussed four quantitative easing options yesterday, and agreed the next move is to reduce the stimulus.

The GBP/USD is higher on the day as the weakness in the greenback is propping up the pound. The UK revealed industrial, manufacturing and construction output figures for July, and by-and-large, they were a touch on the soft side.

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open 38 points lower at 21,746, and we are calling the S&P 500 down 4 points at 2461.

Patrick Harker of the Federal Reserve is due to speak at 1.45pm. The US dollar has been under pressure since Stanley Fischer stated he was stepping down next month. Mr Harker, has been known to hold hawkish views, but it will be interesting to see if still feels the same in light of some underwhelming US economic data.

Kroger will announce their second-quarter figures today.  

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