FTSE 100 opens flat as profit taking and Wall Street gains cancel each other out

The FTSE opened up 0.03% at 5,642.08 as some early profit taking, particularly on mining companies, dampened the boost from a strong closure on Wall Street.

The FTSE opened up 0.03% at 5,642.08 as some early profit taking, particularly on mining companies, dampened the boost from a strong closure on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrials Average closed 298 points higher at 25,013 after the US and China found a middle ground on their trade issues. In Asia, the Nikkei closed down 0.18%, weighed by a stronger dollar and higher oil prices, the Hang Seng was up 0.6% while the Shanghai Composite was almost unchanged at -0.05%.

The pound traded up 0.22% against the dollar at $1.3455 ahead of the first of this week’s UK economic data, public sector finances at 9.30am. The key event for the pound today will be the testimony of the Bank of England governor Mark Carney to the House of Commons’ Treasury Select Committee about the UK’s inflation levels in May.

Mining companies lead the FTSE 100 fallers with gold and diamond miner Anglo American down 1.44%, Rio Tinto down 1.17%, and Chilean copper producer Antofagasta down 1.28%. Anglo American stocks declined despite the fact that the company reported a nearly 5% increase in the value of its De Beers rough diamond sales to $550m. The interest in diamond jewellery has been especially strong from American buyers.

High street stalwart Marks & Spencer could be in the position to lose its place in the FTSE 100 in the index’s quarterly reshuffle in a few days’ time. The company’s full earnings report is scheduled for Wednesday and is expected to show a 7% decline in pre-tax profits and a 1% increase in revenue, with sales in both the company’s core businesses, food and clothing, expected to show a decline.

Halford’s shares were heavily hit when the company reported a 6% drop in its full year pretax profit to £71.6 million caused by currency effects, a lack of price rises and an increase in investments. Shares in the car and bicycle part retailer fell 11.7% to 342.60.

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