- Small losses ahead of quiet session
- Yellen testimony postponed
- Attention to turn to German CPI and Greek unemployment
The FTSE is set to open in the red this morning ahead of what is expected to be a fairly quiet day.
City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open 17 points lower than yesterday's close of 6,675.03, tracking modest losses seen in the States last night.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500
both snapped a four-day winning streak as investors continued to digest comments from Federal Reserve officials, while markets were also reacting to the news that the US House of Representatives has passed an increase in the government's borrowing limit. The House voted 221-201 to waive the $17.2trn debt limit for just over a year, after Republicans gave up on their attempt to win concessions from the Democrats in return.
Due to bad weather conditions, a testimony from new Fed Chair Janet Yellen at the Senate Banking Committee has been postponed. Meanwhile, announcements on US initial jobless claims, consumer confidence and retail sales are due to be released.
In the Eurozone, data is due to be released on the German CPI figure and the Greek unemployment rate this morning, although these have historically generally had little impact on markets. The European Central Bank will also unveil its monthly bulletin.
Today has proved to be busier in terms of corporate news, with several companies publishing their final results, including global miner Rio Tinto, which lifted its dividend by 15% after significantly increasing second-half profit.
Underlying profits at Lloyds Banking Group more than doubled in 2013 with the company citing improved profitability within the core business and a significant reduction in non-core losses. Underlying profits surged to £6.17bn in the 12 months ended December 31st, up 140% from the £2.57bn recorded in 2012, as a 24% increase in core profits to £7.57bn outweighed non-core losses of £1.41bn, albeit which were 60% lower than the previous year.
Rolls-Royce said it expects flat 2014 revenue and profit due to cuts in government defence spending. The world's second-largest maker of aircraft engines revealed a drop in defence and marine revenue would hinder results this year as it reported its full-year 2013 earnings.
Food and sweetener company Tate & Lyle said it made a solid start to the final quarter, despite weakness in SPLENDA Sucralose, and expects full-year profits to be broadly in line with the previous year. "We are pleased with the progress we are making and particularly the underlying strength of our Speciality Food Ingredients business. SPLENDA Sucralose aside, in the 2014 financial year we expect to see profit growth in all product categories across Speciality Food Ingredients," it said.
Ground engineering specialist Keller Group has been awarded a contract to work on the City of Seattle's Elliott Bay seawall project. The £25m deal involves the repair and replacement of a large section of seawall along Seattle's downtown waterfront. Keller will construct a grid designed to provide seismic stability and foundation support for the new seawall, it explained.