market relief

The FTSE 100 is largely unchanged and as it is May Day, volatility is likely to be low throughout the day with continental European indices shut due to the holiday.

When major indices like the DAX or CAC 40 are closed, those markets that are open to be tend to have a quiet session. President Trump has postponed making a decision on whether to impose tariffs on EU steel and aluminium until 1 June, so traders have breathed a sigh of relief.

BP shares are in demand this morning after the company posted a surge in profit that topped analyst estimates. First-quarter underlying replacement-cost profit jumped by 71% to $2.59 billion, while the consensus was for $2.2 billion. Production jumped by 6%. Higher output and stronger oil prices were behind the ‘strong results’. The underlying oil market is near a level not seen since late 2014, while BP’s share price has today hit its highest level since 2010 – so all-in-all shareholders have much to be happy about.

Just Eat announced a 49% jump in first-quarter revenue after orders rose at home and abroad. Group orders increased by 32%, and UK and international orders rose by 24% and 46% respectively. The company reiterated its full-year earnings guidance of between £165 and £185 million. In March, the stock took a knock when the company announced higher than expected capital expenditure plans, but today’s figures underline its strong performance.

GBP/USD dipped after the latest UK manufacturing PMI report slipped to 53.9 from 55.1 in March, and economists were expecting a reading of 54.8, reducing the likelihood of an interest rate from the Bank of England this month.

At 3pm (UK time) the latest ISM manufacturing PMI report is released in the US, with consensus estimates for a reading of 58.3, down from 59.3 in March.

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open down 14 points at 24,149 and we are calling the S&P 500 unchanged at 2648.

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