ICB report fails to ignite equity markets

<p>Equity markets across Europe remained relatively unchanged at 1pmGMT today, with banking stocks being the main focus of the day following the release of the Independent […]</p>

Equity markets across Europe remained relatively unchanged at 1pmGMT today, with banking stocks being the main focus of the day following the release of the Independent Commission on the Banking (ICB) interim report early this morning.

The ICB was set up to outline possible proposals for the UK banking sector with the aim of avoiding future banking crisis, the like of which we have seen in recent years. The report was well received by the banking sector as the commission stopped short of suggesting banks should entirely separate their retail and investment operations, however they did state “firewalls” should be introduced to protect the retail operations from the investment banking arm.

At 1pm GMT Barclays was the biggest winner on the day, trading +9.4p at 306.55 (+3.2%) with an intraday high of 310p. Sector buddy RBS was also having a good session trading +1p at 44.5p (+2.4%).

Another sector in buoyant mood were the miners who accounted for 7 points of the FTSE move this morning, with 3 of the top 10 biggest winners on the day being BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Fresnillo, all posting 1% gains on the day.

As most traders mulled over their choice of sandwich bar or public house for lunch, the biggest loser on the day was 3i Group. The UK-listed private equity firm today confirmed its expansion into Brazil, along with the hiring of Marcelo Di Lorenzo to head up the operation. The news was not well received by investors as 3i Group was trading down 6.9p at 268.2p (-2.5%) at 1pm GMT.

News of two more earthquakes off the north east coast of Japan has also given investors reason to be cautious. Thankfully these two earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude than the one which caused so much destruction and devastation around a month ago. With no macro data from the US today and nervous news emanating from Japan it is understandable that equity markets remain downbeat. Traders can expect another quiet session this afternoon.

At 1pm GMT the FTSE was trading +2.8 points at 6058, the CAC -27 points and the DAX -15 points at 7201.

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.