The FTSE has edged marginally lower this morning as investors mulled over yesterday’s Putin fuelled rally ahead of today’s Fed minutes. Markets have been relatively quiet on the opening bell, probably anticipating the main moves to come on the back of this evenings US release and content to at least wait for the US open to predict the days main move. Another 10bln cut to stimulus looks almost nailed on according to estimates, but as usual it will be the accompanying minutes that investors will concentrate on, with any clues as to the health of the US recovery to be much appreciated by a market that has looked more than a little confused over the last couple of weeks. As far as Ukraine is concerned, the market seems to be content that watered down US sanctions coupled with yesterday’s Putin statement is enough to suggest any pending catastrophe can be shelved in the short term, but what Putin says and does doesn’t always tally up, and anyone invested in this market will still have one eye on events in Crimea until a long term solution is acknowledged by both sides. Bank of England MOC votes went according to schedule and employment data released at the same time also showed no change at 7.2%, market reaction was again rather muted. First half profits at Smiths group have been hit by pricing pressures and a stronger pound, with a large slice of their revenues coming from the U.S. Operating profits dipped 4% to £245m and the firm has tipped FX headwinds to increase in H2, sending the stock down over 4% on the open. The firm has increased its dividend slightly from 12.5p to 12.75p, but did little to distract investors away from the overall outlook. Ophir energy’s first drill at its Padouck Deep-1 well offshore Gabon has disappointed, but the firm remained upbeat on the region, with many of the components necessary for success present including thicker quality reservoir sequences than anticipated and evidence of a working hydrocarbon system. Investors had naturally been hoping for better news, with the early move sending the stock 20% lower. On the continent, Airbus stock got a lift from reports of a potential $20bln deal with China for up to 150 passenger jets, although the story is not confirmed as yet. Airbus have been keen to increase their presence in China, having opened its first plant outside of Europe in Tianjin 5 years ago. 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.