Investors apprehensive amid fresh tensions surrounding US budget talks

<p>- There was little movement in the markets this morning as investors were apprehensive amid fresh tensions surrounding US budget talks. – Mining stocks and […]</p>

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- There was little movement in the markets this morning as investors were apprehensive amid fresh tensions surrounding US budget talks.

- Mining stocks and banks were among the most pressured sectors, as talks to avoid a ‘fiscal cliff’ of planned tax hikes and spending cuts in the US slipped yet again.

At 9am the FTSE was at 5960, the DAX was at 7660 and the DOW was at 13253.

- Steelmaker Evraz was the top faller on the day, down 0.9%, while Lloyds Banking Group was also down 0.8% in early trading.

- John Wood Group was an early riser, with Weir Group later up 2%.

- In other news, UBS has agreed to pay $1.5 billion to US, UK, Swiss and Hong Kong authorities in relation to the Libor fixing scandal. This is one of the largest fines ever imposed on a bank, and the investigation is still ongoing.

- The 9.30am UK retail sales figures have come out worse than expected at 0%, despite expectations of an improvement. We are also awaiting US figures this afternoon – unemployment claims at 1.30pm and existing home sales and manufacturing index data at 3pm so that will be something to keep an eye on.

- Spread betting, CFDs and forex trading are leveraged products which can result in losses greater than your initial deposit. Ensure you fully understand the risks.

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