FTSE moves into positive territory

<p>- Strong Chinese manufacturing data and some decent blue chip results today have helped push the FTSE into positive territory up 9 points at 5792. […]</p>

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- Strong Chinese manufacturing data and some decent blue chip results today have helped push the FTSE into positive territory up 9 points at 5792.

- The DAX is flat at 7265 and the CAC down 8 points at 3429 amidst very light trade as the French celebrate All Saints day.

- Despite Super Storm Sandy a generator powered Wall Street managed to hold its nerve finishing down just 10 points at 13096. In the wake of the storm, lumber and Petrol futures have shot up as refineries are forced to shut down and a high demand for construction material is anticipated.

- Top dog in the UK today is BT up 5% which, despite lowering its revenue outlook by 9% managed to see its Q2 pre tax profit grow 7% and lifted its interim dividend by 15%. BskyB are up 3.5% having reported strong 1st quarter earnings growth helped by the number of high profile sporting events in that period and the launch of its new sky on demand store.

- In spite of having to raise its PPI provisions by 1 billion and reporting a pre-tax loss of 144m, Lloyds has managed drop 35% of its bad debts boosting its share price by 3.5%. Languishing at the bottom of the pile today is BG Group which has been downgraded or had its price target cut by a total of 10 banks as it warned that it would have no output growth next year.

- As a result, its shares have tumbled 5.5%. Looking at macro data the Nationwide monthly housing price index reported prices up a better than expected 0.6% this morning and UK manufacturing PMI just missed expectations a 47.5.

- Obviously the major news today is Non-farm payrolls in the US, forecast at 138k which could give a welcome jump start to a weather beaten nation and gives Obama his last chance to show some good results ahead of next Tuesday’s election.

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