FTSE 100 down 34 points
Traders await UK GDP
US-China trade talks to resume
8.45am: FTSE 100 slumps in early trading
The FTSE 100 began Thursday more or less as expected with some small gains, however, the index quickly dropped in the first hour of trading and was down 34 points at 7,132 at around 8.45am.
The latest reading of the UKs gross domestic product (GDP) later today may provide some catalysts for traders, however, analysts are expecting little joy out of the British economy.
“The UK economy is struggling with the uncertainties of pre-Brexit. Analysts are expecting a dreary 0.0% reading, a sharp comedown from the previous 0.3% – lets just hope it doesnt turn negative”, said Connor Campbell, an analyst at Spreadex.
He added that other UK data due out today, such as index of services data, “might not come to mean much” depending on any news that emerges from an impending meeting between Boris Johnson and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as the two sides attempt to hammer out a compromise on the Irish border ahead of Brexit.
6.45am: FTSE 100 to make positive start
The FTSE 100 is expected to get off on the front foot on Thursday morning, albeit activity is somewhat muted ahead of US-vs-China trade talks due to start later today.
IG Markets calls the FTSE 100 up around 7 points at 7,164 to 7,167 with just over an hour to go until the open.
Trump vs China and Brexit are the days focal points (the Groundhog Day meter is currently set at Bill Murray screaming manically whilst driving the wrong way down train tracks).
Nonetheless, sentiments are evidently skewed slightly to the positive even if everyone acknowledges the uncertainty of it all.
“Yesterday we heard that China are interested in brokering a partial trade deal, which helped stocks in Europe as well as the US,” said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets.
“The positive signals from China are all well and good, but hopes arent too high as certain topics are not up for discussion as far as China are concerned.
The analyst added: “Washington DC are not keen on Chinas industrial policy or the government subsidies, but Being are not willing to compromise on those topics so major progress is unlikely.
“China requested that the US dont impose tariffs later this month or in December as they are scheduled to do so, in exchange for an increase of agricultural purchases by Chinese firms.
“The Trump administration is keen to strike a broader trade deal, but if a small bit of progress is made in the next couple of days, it might just be a small component of the overall process.”
Wall Street last night was mostly pointing higher. The Dow Jones marked a positive close, rising 0.7% or 181 points to 26,346 whilst the S&P 500 added 0.9% to finish at 2,919 and the Nasdaq gained 1.02% end at 7,903.
In Asia, Japans Nikkei moved 0.34% higher to trade at 21,530 while Hong Kongs Hang Seng added 0.46% to 25,801 and the Shanghai Composite notched 0.47% higher to 2,938.
Around the markets
The pound: US$1.2229, up 0.19%
Gold price: US$1,506, up 0.05%
Brent crude: US$58.25, up 0.1%
Bitcoin: US$8,568, up 5.15%