A strong Asian session with news overnight showing Chinese exports rising more than forecast has failed to stimulate European markets in the same way as we find ourselves broadly flat after flirting lower on the open with pressure coming from oil stocks. This lack of reaction may have more to do with the past three sessions having been positive and the fact we are coming off the biggest weekly advance for European shares since April.
A weak corporate tone dominates the start to the weak as both BG Group and Associated British Foods disappoint shareholders with bearish outlooks. A lower production projection for 2014 relating to delays to projects in Egypt and Norway have led to BG Group losing over 4% in value and being the biggest loser of the morning on the FTSE
. Another good set of numbers from Primark have failed to counteract a weaker outlook for sugar prices for ABF who have cut its earnings forecasts for the following year.
On a relatively quiet day for results we turn to broker updates where Tate & Lyle have been cut to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’ by UBS and trade 3% lower as a consequence.
Positive stories for European single stocks are thin with the producer of steel pipes for the oil-and-gas industry, Vallourec, 2.7% higher on a broker upgrade from Kepler Cheuvreux being one of a few to note.
Markets will not expect anything controversial from George Osborne today as he is expected to reiterate recent views that he will stick to his austerity plan and that he will remain cautious in regards to the tightening of market conditions.
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