China PMIs + $ hampering Miners

China PMIs + $ hampering Miners

FTSE 100 Index called to open -20pts at 7436, still under pressure, flirting with a revisit of last week’s 4-month lows. A breach of this could mean a decline to 7335 late-April lows. Bulls need a break above 7460 overnight highs. Bears require a breach of 7420 4-month lows. Watch levels: Bullish 7460, Bearish 7420

Calls for a negative open derive from a negative Wall St lead and a broadly downbeat Asian session. The latter was fuelled by a disappointing China PMI Services (2018 low) that has added fuel to US-China trade tensions, especially ahead of tomorrow’s end to the public consultation about on tariffs on another $200bn of Chinese imports.

Today also sees resumption of deadlocked NAFTA talks with Canada, that could add to global trade war fears. USD off overnight lows, hurting base metals again (dual-listed Miners down in Australia overnight), gold trading a narrow range after breaching $1195, hindered by USD strength and a distinct lack of demand for the metal as a safe-haven. Oil prices lower as the impact of tropical storm Gordon on oil & gas infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico proved less than expected, and the USD trades off lows.

In corporate news this morning Barratt Developments FY revenues +4.8% (completions +1.1%, average prices +5%), pre-tax profit +9.2%, final div +4.7% + another 17.3p special div; Forward sales +11.1%; targets med-term 3-5% annual volume growth and min 25% return on capital employed.

Berkeley Group notes consistent trading conditions in London and the South-East, with robust pricing and demand. High transaction costs in London, Brexit uncertainty acts as headwind. Anticipates higher net cash by half-year mark. 5-year profits guidance reiterated at £3.375bn.

BHP Billiton will acquire a 6.1% stake in copper explorer SolGold from Guyana Goldfields for $35m, a 20% premium. William Hill expands in US via joint venture with Eldorado Resorts for digital and land-based sports betting and online gaming; Eldorado gets 20% stake in William Hill US via $50m restricted stock. esure publishes scheme of arrangement regarding recommended cash offer from Bain Capital.

In focus today will be Eurozone PMI Services (8-9am) with all expected to remain well into growth territory (readings above 50) but with Italy giving up ground versus July while France and Germany (and UK) gain, leaving the region as a whole only a shade higher.

Eurozone Retail Sales (10am) may have contracted in July (-0.1% vs 0.3% in June; seasonality, quarterly thing?), but the annual pace of growth probably picked up from last month’s lowest in 7 months (1.3% vs 1.2%).

In terms of speakers, ECB’s Chief Economist Praet (10am, dovish) will talk at the Eurofi Financial Forum in Vienna. In the afternoon and evening, prepare for a barrage of Fed members including Bullard (2:20pm, dovish, non-voter), Williams (8pm, dovish, voter), Kashkari (9pm, dovish, non-voter) and Bostic (11:30pm, hawkish, voter). All are likely to discuss US monetary policy, with potential to move USD (and thus GBP) with a knock-on for both US (and FTSE equities).

International Consolidated Airlines publishes August traffic statistics this afternoon (circa 3pm), IT giant Cisco Systems reports quarterly earnings and Costco updates on August sales.

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