The old adage about the US sneezing and the UK therefore catching a cold is as apposite as ever with the UK market opening lower after a non-voting member of the US Federal Reserve member cast doubts over the efficacy of the Fed's asset purchase programme.
"We are unlikely to see much benefit to growth or employment from further asset purchases," said Charles Plosser, the President of the Philadelphia Fed Bank.
Plosser also suggested that short-term interest rates will need to be hiked earlier than the currently envisaged time frame of the middle of 2015.
Although Plosser is a known hard-liner and his comments therefore did not come as too much of a surprise, they weren't what the market wanted to hear; asset purchases - or quantitative easing (QE)
In company news, first half profits from international home emergency business Homeserve will be higher than in the corresponding period of last year, and therefore higher than some broker estimates. Adjusted pre-tax profit for the six months ending September 30th is expected to be higher than the £23.5m achieved at the interim stage last year, principally due to the benefits of increasing ownership of Domeo from 49% to 100%. Broker Peel Hunt had forecast £20m.
Waste management group Shanks said it now expects results for the year to March 31st 2013 to be slightly below the current range of expectations after market conditions in the UK and Dutch solid waste markets deteriorated significantly in the first half. Shanks said its organics, hazardous waste, and UK municipal businesses continued to perform robustly and in line with company expectations.
Performance across ICAP's voice and electronic businesses has remained more muted than anticipated at the time of the inter-dealer broker's annual general meeting in July. On the plus side, although activity in global markets has remained subdued in the last six months or so, there has been some improvement in trading volumes in September. As a result, group revenue in the six months ending September 30th is expected to be around 14% lower than the previous year.
Growth has slowed at pizza delivery firm Domino's Pizza. Like-for-like sales in the UK in the third quarter were up by 3.7%, versus 4.1% the year before and 5.7% in the first six months of the financial year.
FTSE 100 - Risers
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,215.00p +0.37%
Compass Group (CPG) 723.50p +0.21%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,734.00p +0.09%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 729.50p 0.00%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 693.00p 0.00%
SSE (SSE) 1,397.00p -0.07%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,343.00p -0.09%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 750.50p -0.13%
Diageo (DGE) 1,750.50p -0.20%
National Grid (NG.) 692.00p -0.22%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 114.40p -3.62%
Evraz (EVR) 242.60p -2.96%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,019.00p -2.67%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,854.00p -2.45%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 700.00p -2.30%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 263.80p -2.30%
Kingfisher (KGF) 264.10p -2.15%
ARM Holdings (ARM) 572.50p -2.14%
Polymetal International (POLY) 1,046.00p -2.06%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,774.00p -2.04%
FTSE 250 - Risers
TR Property Inv Trust Sigma Shares (TRYS) 78.75p +9.53%
Barr (A.G.) (BAG) 454.60p +0.93%
JPMorgan Indian Inv Trust (JII) 362.79p +0.89%
ITE Group (ITE) 207.70p +0.73%
Cranswick (CWK) 795.00p +0.70%
Menzies(John) (MNZS) 640.50p +0.55%
Homeserve (HSV) 222.20p +0.50%
Dignity (DTY) 921.50p +0.49%
BTG (BTG) 324.10p +0.40%
Petra Diamonds Ltd.(DI) (PDL) 118.50p +0.34%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Shanks Group (SKS) 77.20p -14.46%
Imagination Technologies Group (IMG) 475.70p -8.52%
Bumi (BUMI) 160.00p -4.76%
ICAP (IAP) 328.00p -4.62%
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (MLC) 482.90p -4.38%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 198.80p -4.33%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 150.60p -4.20%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 543.50p -3.46%
Afren (AFR) 134.00p -2.90%
St James's Place (STJ) 360.00p -2.68%