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April 16, 2015

FTSE 100 set to open little changed

The Footsie is set to open little changed despite mostly good showings from global markets overnight.

The top-share index is projected by spread betting firms to open a couple of points shy of the 7,100 level after closing at a record high of 7,097 last night.

US markets finished higher yesterday on the back of a blizzard of earnings announcements, with the Dow Jones average up 76 points at 18,113, the S&P 500 11 points better at 2,107 and the NASDAQ Composite 34 points to the good at 5,011.

The release of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book last night revealed concerns among the central bank’s policy makers about the strength of the dollar and the collapse in crude oil prices.

The Book – a kind of “finger in the air” reading of the state of the US economy – concluded that, generally, conditions remained docile but with potentially disruptive undercurrents.

Coincidentally, the oil price recovered strongly yesterday, with Brent crude moving back above US$60 a barrel, rising to around US$63.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 is off 13 points at 19,857 but Chinese markets have bounced back strongly, with the Shanghai Composite notching up a treble digit gain, rising 103 to 4,187 while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng is 116 points firmer at 27,734.

In the UK the schedule of earnings updates is a busy one, with big names such as Unilever (LON:ULVR), Diageo (LON:DGE), WH Smith (LON:SMWH) and Debenhams (LON:DEB) set to report. @MasterMetals MasterMetals Blog

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