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Trade volume low as investors await further data

Markets opened up lower this morning, pulling indices off their multi-month and in some cases multi-year highs that were reached last week. With no major economic data out today, investors appeared hesitant and volumes of transactions were low ahead of ECB and Federal Reserve meetings on Thursday and US jobless claims on Friday.

On an equity level, National Grid was downgraded to neutral from buy by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. With the utility gaining around 30% last year, the bank said that the share price and moved through their price target and as such the valuation was looking stretched. The group was one of the biggest decliners amongst blue-chip London stocks, falling 1.9% to 632p.

The FTSE100 lost around 0.6% in early trade although made up some ground towards midday. Sentiment was clearly boosted somewhat in the early afternoon correlating with news headlines that the Irish Prime Minister (Enda Kenny), speaking on CNBC during a visit to New York, stated that he is confident Irish voters will approve the EU’s new budget treaty in this year’s referendum. The repercussions for rejecting the treaty would involve Ireland losing access to the ESM, the EU’s permanent stability mechanism, which the PM described as an “insurance policy that you hope you’ll never use”.

The FTSE 100 ended the day down 0.1% to 5961, in line with the German DAX although outperforming the French CAC which was lower by around 0.5%. The momentum in the afternoon may have also come from a relatively buoyant start to the US trading session, with the S&P up 0.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average up around 0.2%.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by James .

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