Traders eye ECB announcement as FOMC continues bond buying programme

<p>The FOMC announced yesterday that they will continue with the bond buying programme. The major point, however, is that they are ready to increase or […]</p>

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The FOMC announced yesterday that they will continue with the bond buying programme. The major point, however, is that they are ready to increase or decrease asset purchases depending on jobs and inflation

Asian stocks fell after worse than expected payrolls and manufacturing data from the US

In Europe, we had better than expected data on Spanish and Italian manufacturing this morning. Also UK construction PMI came out above expectations

The UK 100 opened 0.2% lower at 6435, dragged down by mining stocks. The German DAX was flat at around 7916, after 8am today.

Turning to companies, BSKYB announced a 9% rise in profits and creation of new jobs. Royal Dutch reported a profit of 3.5% on the year to date.

Across the pond, Facebook reported an increase in mobile advertising revenue.

Later on today, all eyes will be on the ECB press conference. It is expected that the ECB will decrease the interest rates to 0.5% from the current 0.75% level. Decisions may influence the currency rates so it is worth following.

We are also expecting US trade balance and unemployment claims at 1.30pm GMT.

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