Having been led lower by US markets, the FTSE
has tentatively made back ground from the opening bell but still finds itself slightly in the red having been put on the back foot by events overnight. We seem to be bouncing focus between Ukraine and China at the moment and it’s Ukraine taking centre stage today with the pressure mounting over the last 24 hrs. Escalations were kick started by a fresh batch of Russian military drills on the Ukraine border which has shortened the odds of some form of conflict, albeit still an outside bet.
Bulls will be hoping the good start to the session will be given a kick by US/Russian talks today in London, and that enough progress will be made to start to diffuse the ticking time bomb and re-assure the wider market.
BP have served their time with regulators for the Deepwater horizon spill, after the US environment Protection Agency agreed to lift a ban preventing the firm from bidding on US government contracts. The news marks both a win and a chance for a fresh start for the UK listed oil giant, who contested the ban by filing a lawsuit claiming unfair treatment. BP stock saw modest gains this morning but remains over 20% short of trading levels before the explosion in 2010.
Wetherspoons stock dropped despite an 8.5% rise in H1 profits and positive outlook, with the first 6 weeks of the second half showing a 6.7% increase in underlying sales. One slight disappointment will be operating margins, which were down 10 basis points to 8.2%, but today’s move is more likely attributed to a bit of opportune profit taking in risk off conditions, with the stock up over 15% from December.
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