London equities have begun today's session with the slightest of falls following news that retail sales in China over the Lunar New Year festivities last week rose at their slowest pace in four years, as authorities cracked down on extravagant spending by the public sector.
US capital markets will remain closed today, which is expected to keep trading activity down and limit movements in the prices of securities.
Be that as it may, investors are busy analysing the possible outcome - and implications - of the upcoming elections in Italy, this next weekend. For economists at Credit Suisse, "while all recent polls have continued to support a relatively reassuring central scenario for markets (...) there are several alternative and sub-scenarios that cannot be dismissed. These imply that the Italian elections remain a significant risk event."
No less important will be the fresh indications regarding US monetgary policy - from Wednesday onwards - and the latest readings on the Eurozone's manufacturing and service sectors.
Also to be had in account, and acting as a backdrop, the latest data from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed short speculative positions in Sterling outnumbering bullish ones for the first time in five months.
Chinese data weighs on miners
Miners are amongst the worst performers now on the Footsie after news that Chinese retail sales at shops and restaurants increased by 14.7% in the February 9th to February 15th period versus a year ago. That was less than the 16.2% pace seen in 2012 and the slowed pace in four years.
BAE Systems, a defence, aerospace and security company, has unveiled a five-year partnership with mobile communications giant Vodafone Group, under which it will provide businesses with a range of advanced communications security products and services, initially focused on smartphones and tablets.
According to the Financial Times Man Group may announce a management reshuffle when the new Chief Executive Officer moves in at the end of this month.
The Takeover Panel - the British watchdog - is being urged by investors to step in over the battle for control of troubled Indonesian coal miner Bumi plc. It comes as Bumi plc shareholders prepare to meet Thursday to vote on co-founder Nathaniel Rothschild's proposal to replace 12 of the 14 directors on the board.
Micro Focus confirmed one of its subsidiaries has acquired Orbix, Orbacus and Artix software product lines from Progress Software Corporation. The $15m deal was made using cash from Micro Focus' existing banking facility, it said in a statement. The contract was delayed almost a month as the group awaited contractual consents.
Phoenix Group, the UK consolidator of closed-life assurance funds, has received valid acceptances for 31.5m open offer shares
from shareholders entitled to participate in the open offer. The announcement comes 19 days after the company announced details of a capital raising.
FTSE 100 - Risers
ITV (ITV) 120.30p +2.82%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,354.00p +1.55%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,700.00p +1.19%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,008.00p +1.05%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 229.80p +0.83%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 133.20p +0.83%
Randgold Resources Ltd. (RRS) 5,625.00p +0.81%
Rexam (REX) 472.60p +0.79%
National Grid (NG.) 687.00p +0.73%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 1,998.00p +0.71%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,102.00p -1.52%
Wood Group (John) (WG.) 795.50p -1.24%
Sage Group (SGE) 334.40p -1.04%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,285.00p -1.00%
Xstrata (XTA) 1,169.50p -0.97%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,629.00p -0.91%
Capita (CPI) 824.00p -0.90%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,700.50p -0.88%
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,343.00p -0.81%
CRH (CRH) 1,377.00p -0.79%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Bumi (BUMI) 397.00p +5.22%
New World Resources A Shares (NWR) 284.60p +4.40%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 129.00p +4.03%
Synthomer (SYNT) 212.40p +1.82%
Man Group (EMG) 109.40p +1.67%
Computacenter (CCC) 490.00p +1.45%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 806.50p +1.45%
CSR (CSR) 392.10p +1.27%
London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) 1,304.00p +1.24%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.6 +1.22%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
African Barrick Gold (ABG) 284.90p -3.42%
Diploma (DPLM) 563.00p -2.76%
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 3,444.00p -2.30%
Grainger (GRI) 132.30p -2.00%
Kier Group (KIE) 1,350.00p -1.46%
BH Global Ltd. GBP
Shares (BHGG) 1,158.70p -1.39%
Fenner (FENR) 417.50p -1.32%
Ashmore Group (ASHM) 370.30p -1.31%
Supergroup (SGP) 685.00p -1.30%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 1,366.00p -1.30%
FTSE TechMARK - Risers
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 1,180.00p +4.61%
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd. (BVC) 17.50p +3.70%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 2.40p +2.13%
E2V Technologies (E2V) 120.00p +1.69%
Kofax (KFX) 273.75p +1.39%
Vislink (VLK) 32.38p +1.17%
Innovation Group (TIG) 25.25p +1.00%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 680.50p +0.44%
CML Microsystems (CML) 445.00p +0.23%
Triad Group (TRD) 6.00p 0.00%
FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Phytopharm (PYM) 1.88p -81.25%
Hiwave Technologies (HIW) 0.18p -73.57%
Emblaze Ltd. (BLZ) 45.00p -3.23%
Phoenix IT Group (PNX) 153.26p -2.38%
Filtronic (FTC) 64.00p -1.16%
Vectura Group (VEC) 93.25p -1.06%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 200.00p -0.99%
Ricardo (RCDO) 401.67p -0.82%
Sepura (SEPU) 97.00p -0.64%
NCC Group (NCC) 149.75p -0.50%