UK shares were flat on Friday with markets in most of Europe trading lower. The Euro Stoxx 50 slipped below yesterday’s low and beneath 3430. The FTSE 100 dropped back from yesterday’s eight day high but held above 6300. Markets in Europe have felt mixed influences from Asia after another terrorist incident unfolded at the Radisson hotel in Mali yet Japanese shares touched a three-month high. The euro slumped against both the dollar and the pound after ECB president Mario Draghi said the ECB will do what it must to raise inflation quickly. The reaction to Mr Draghi in stock markets was more muted. His speech largely echoed dovish tones from the ECB minutes and various ECB officials that have already helped catapult shares higher this week. Bid rumours have helped the FTSE 100 set itself apart from more tempered trading in the rest of Europe. It was been reported that British American Tobacco could be eyeing a bid for Imperial Tobacco. The rumour hasn’t been confirmed but would make a lot of sense to pool their resources in the context of the Reynolds-Lorillard merger this year. Banks were some of the top fallers with Barclays lower by over 2% and RBS down by 1%. The manhunt for former HBOS executives has rattled the banking industry and the IPO of bailed-out ABN Amro is possibly drawing out some UK bank shareholders into the Netherlands. US stocks look set for a higher open ahead of expected quarterly earnings reports from Abercrombie & Fitch and Foot Locker. Clothing retailer Gap is expected to open lower after it trimmed its full-year forecast. USA pre-opening levels S&P 500: 3 points higher at 2,084 Dow Jones: 50 points higher at 17,782 Nasdaq 100: 11 points higher at 4,666 CMC Markets is an execution only 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.
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