Market bulls would have hoped that a new month might bring a change in sentiment, but the first trading day of February sees the market slide lower again, with financials weighing especially hard on the FTSE after a Lloyds update reminded investors of how long the tunnel still might be before the banks are free of paying for the past. Europe was also lower, with the banking story spreading to markets on the continent which had already been guided lower by Asian benchmarks after Chinese Manufacturing hit a 6 month low. PMI data in Europe was fairly positive, with Germany, Spain and France all beating estimates, however UK manufacturing output disappointed. Another update from another bank with another fine taking centre stage……with Lloyds now announcing they are setting aside another £1.8billion for PPI claims. The rest of the statement was pretty upbeat, with the bank preparing for a possible share sale and a restart to dividend payments in 2014. However a revision to expectations on claim volumes has forced the bank to tuck another fortune away as punishment for the sectors reckless past, and investors will yet again question just how long it will be before they can enjoy a trading update free of further penalty. Rexam stock headed in the right direction after receiving a binding offer for its healthcare business from a private equity firm. The proposed $805m sale will see $740m returned to investors, who will be happy on two fronts this morning with the stock up over 1%. Randgold resources reported a full year net profit of $278.4m, down from $431.8 the year pervious after lower gold prices hampered the number. EPS was $3.02, again down on last year but ahead of expectations. Production has seen good growth, with expectations for the coming year also strong contributions from current mines and its recently commissioned Kibali mine in Congo. The ever volatile Iofina was in good form this morning, surging near 10% on an update on its non-core water project in Montana. Last weeks water rights meeting with the DNRC (Department of Natural resources and conservation) has been described as “encouraging”, and a welcome lift to investors that have seen their stock slide over 50% in the last 3 months. CMC Markets is an execution only service provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.