The FTSE-100 fell today after jumping in the previous session amid a bounceback in US stocks.
Yesterday saw the stock market sell-off in technology shares partially reverse, with the Nasdaq index jumping nearly 3% and ending three days of falls. Popular retail stock Tesla regained half of the 21% crash on Tuesday while Apple and Amazon gained 4%.
That fed through into European markets before the close last night. The FTSE-100 and France's CAC-40 both ended up 1.4% after opening flat yesterday morning. The German Dax jumped 2.1%.
UK shares fell in early trading, with the FTSE-100 down 31.82 at 5981.02, while markets awaited direction from Wall Street.
Stock market investors will also be looking at the European Central Bank's interest rate decision and press conference at 12.45pm and 1.30pm. Markets expect rates to be held at minus-0.5%. With some key European states seeing their manufacturing and services output beginning to flag again, and inflation falling, the ECB's commentary will be closely heeded for clues on where rates go next.
The takeover boom that has kept some of the positivity going in market sentiment took something of a dent after LVMH ditched its $16 billion bid for Tiffany yesterday. Legal actions ensued as Tiffany said its bidder had reneged on a deal while LVMH countered that US plans for a tax on French goods had changed the whole deal.
Most analysts took the view that LVMH had wanted to get out of a deal struck in a pre-Covid world, at pre-Covid prices. Tiffany's share price had fallen far below the value at which LVMH had priced its bid.
Shares in Rio Tinto held steady but could come under pressure later amid talk that chief executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques could be fired over a shocking lack of sensitivity at the group towards indigenous Aborigines in Australia. Rio Tinto blew up two sacred rock shelters in the Pilbara region to reach eight million tonnes of iron ore despite there being viable alternative ways of accessing it, and having been told the caves were of "highest archaeological significance in Australia."
An increase in metals prices yesterday insulated its shares from too much of the impact.
One pension fund investment group said the failures, and an inadequate subsequent inquiry, suggested a systemic governance issue at the company which led to the top. Environmental, Sustainability and Governance issues have rapidly leaped up the list of considerations among shareholders in recent years. After shareholders protested at the scandal, the board held a meeting to discuss Jacques' future last night.
BT fell 1% after announcing 3.9% price rises on top of inflation. At a time of falling wages and complaints about service, the regulator may take a dim view, while some customers may move elsewhere.
IAG group's shares held steady as positive news on its e2.7 billion capital raise was countered by some grim news on its capacity cuts.
Morrisons supermarkets tumbled 4% as it warned extra spending on Covid preparations had eaten into profits.