Equity markets are higher this morning after a rise in China’s trade balance prompted buying overnight. 

It is worth noting that Chinese imports and exports both grew at a slower pace last month, and this could be a taste of what is to come now that Beijing and Washington DC are locked in a trade spat.

Hays shares are in demand after the company confirmed full-year operating profit will be ‘marginally ahead’ of forecasts. The recruitment company revealed a 15% increase in final-quarter fees. The firm’s German division saw revenue rise by 16%, and now that department accounts for a quarter of group revenue. CEO Alistair Cox announced the UK division has seen a ‘modest improvement’ despite economic uncertainty. The stock has been rallying for two years, and if the bullish move continues it could target 210p.

DCC announced that operating profit in the first quarter was in line with forecasts, and was considerably higher than last year’s performance. Profit was boosted after the company acquired two firms with a total enterprise value of £110 million. The takeover of the US firm Stampede will assist the technology department and with growth in North America. The share price has been largely pushing higher since March 2015, and if the positive move continues it could target the 7,700p region.

At 3pm (UK time) the University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey is released, and the consensus estimate is for a reading of 98.2, weaker than the 99.3 figure recorded in June. 

GBP/USD has been hit by President Trump’s comments regarding Prime Minister May and Brexit. Mr Trump claimed that Mrs May has ruined the Brexit negotiations, and that her slide towards a soft Brexit has dashed the prospect of a trade deal with the US.

EUR/USD has been hit by the firmer US dollar, while the rise in the Spanish consumer price index (CPI) failed to halt the drop in the euro. The CPI report jumped from 2.1% to 2.3%, meeting expectations. 

AT&T shares will be in focus today after the US justice department confirmed it will appeal the approval of the merger with Time Warner. The justice department believes the deal would decrease competition.

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open up 16 points at 24,940 and we are calling the S&P 500 up 2 points at 2,800.

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