A better than expected reading on the German IFO Business Survey this morning wasn’t enough to drag European indices from the doldrums, as concerns over the unravelling political situation in Italy and the escalating violence in Syria weigh on market sentiment. In truth, traders don’t need much persuading to reduce risk at the moment with the QE picture still unclear – particularly after the weak US data we saw yesterday – and today’s move probably reflects investors following the old adage ‘if in doubt, stay out’. On the single stock front Antofagasta are offered over 2% lower after H1 profit dropped 39% on lower copper prices. With Chinese growth prospects still up for debate and QE tapering only a matter of time, it would be a brave bet to assume a significant recovery in copper prices over the next six months… On a more positive note Petrofac are trading up over 3% after stating that they are on course to meet full-year targets and have high confidence of securing further contract wins in H2.Consumer Confidence data from the states at 15:00 will likely be the main talking point of this afternoon’s session, as traders start drifting back to their desks after the summer break. Our clients continue to be pretty evenly split ahead of the data, with around 56% maintaining a short bias in the major indices.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.