European equity markets are in the red again as the ongoing political uncertainty in relation to North Korea keeps traders on edge. 

Investors aren’t running scared, but they are a touch on the nervous side, and while the situation keeps rumbling on, dealers could be reluctant to start a fresh round of buying.

Shares in Barratt Developments are down 3.4% despite the company announcing record full-year profits and a jump in dividend of 39%. The figures were impressive, but the outlook was cautious, and that weighed on investor sentiment. The homebuilder expects to see ‘modest growth’ next year as higher stamp duty and a cooling of demand in London has taken the shine off the company’s stellar performance.

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open 20 points higher at 21,773, and we are calling the S&P 500 up 5 points at 2462.

At 2.45pm, the US will report the services PMI figures for August and the consensus is for 56.8, and that compares with the July reading of 56.9. The Beige book will be revealed at 7pm, and traders are expecting a positive update.

Yesterday, Lael Brainard of the Federal Reserve called for the US central bank to begin unwinding its balance sheet, but should wait for inflation to tick up before hiking rates again.

Last night, the Fed’s Neel Kashkair stated that rate hikes may have actually harmed the US economy.

The updates from central bankers has helped the price the price of gold.

The EUR/USD is higher this morning as there is a broad sell-off in the US dollar. Tropical storm Harvey is out of the way, but the US is preparing itself for Hurricane Irma.

 

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