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Stocks in Europe are slightly in the red today as volatility is low, and there is a lack of any major macroeconomic news. 

It has been a good week for European stocks, but today dealers are taking a breather.

Sage Grouphad a solid start to the year as first-quarter revenue increased by 6.3%, and organic recurring sales jumped by 7%. The French division was a relative under performer, but the division is tipped to improve in the second-half of the year. Despite the respectable update, the stock is down 5.2% as profit taking has set in. The share price has been in a solid upward trend over the past year, and it reached a record-high yesterday, so today’s move lower may attract fresh buying.

Shares in JD Weatherspoon’s are higher today after the company enjoyed impressive sales for the 12 weeks until mid-January. The pub chain posted a 6% rise in revenue for that period, and the company is now ‘slightly’ ahead of forecasts for this year, it may be difficult to emulate the strong second-half of last year. The share price is up 2.7% today, and hit a new all-time high in early trading.

EUR/USD hit a fresh three year high as the decline in the US dollar continues. It was a double win for the euro as the region produced solid economic data. The services sector in Germany jumped to its highest level since 2011. The biggest industry in the biggest eurozone country is in robust health and that is driving the single currency higher.

GBP/USD has soared this morning has the dip in the US dollar is helping the pound. The UK revealed a 0.4% increase in average monthly earnings in November, while traders were expecting an increase of 0.3%. Sterling continues to be in a strong upward trend versus the US dollar, and this morning it reached a new 19 month high.

At 3pm (UK time) the US will announce the existing home sales, and traders are expecting a reading of 5.7 million, and that compares with the November’s 5.81 million.

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open up 60 points at 26,270, and we are calling the S&P 500 up 4 points at 2843.

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