The markets have settled this morning after yesterday’s rally, with many bearish traders already referring to it as merely a ‘dead cat bounce’ in a market where recent momentum has led the FTSE
over 4% lower since its high in mid-January. There is little likelihood of anyone being prepared to show their hand on market direction this morning, we expect a general sideways move as we await the US non-farms data which is likely to be the catalyst we need to get a handle of where we go from here.
The world’s largest steelmaker AcelorMittal, now more than double the size of its nearest rival, is 3.5% higher this morning after announcing a rise of profits in 2014 and sings of growth in Europe. They also forecast an increase in global steel consumption of up to 4%.
Tullow Oil slipped sharply on the open, dropping a nasty 2.61% to be trading around the 840p mark at the moment. This comes as pressure continues to hit Oil stocks across the board, with Shell also falling by around 0.4% as falling crude prices fall as uncertainty around today’s NFP figure bubbles beneath the surface. This fall for Tullow Oil comes after Wednesday’s boost for the stock as renewed bid speculation appeared for Norwegian Statoil after weeks of doubt over this possibility, and so investors aren’t entirely sure which way to jump.
Vodafone helped boost further gains in the FTSE as a 3.7 per cent rise was seen on Thursday as their third-quarter earnings fell less than expected. Concerns regarding the company’s earnings were based on weakness in the European market rather than emerging markets. Yet there are a number of reasons for Vodafone to be optimistic as the company sees regulatory pressure in Europe easing off together with the increasing demand for 4G services. The company is also in the middle of a deal with Verizon, which will hopefully see an increase in network investments. Hence, despite the stock opening up at 223.00, slightly below yesterdays close at 223.900 investors seem optimistic about future revenues.
A failed drugs trial was the impetus for an early move in Shire Pharmaceuticals, selling off more than 2.5% before recovering as attempts to widen the use of its already successful Vyvanse drug to treat depressive disorders fell short of expectations during clinical trials. Nevertheless the stock has still enjoyed a healthy start to the year, up over 6% as analysts highlight the potential for further M&A activity following Shires takeover of US firm ViroPharma for $4.2billion back in November.
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