FTSE 100 to open lower ahead of UK GDP data

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The FTSE 100 is expected to open on the back foot on Wednesday ahead of the latest UK GDP reading and inflation data from the US.

Spread-betters IG expect the blue-chip index to open around 14 points lower after ending Tuesday’s session down 176 points at 6,948.

The predictions of continued weakness followed a bleak performance on Wall Street overnight, which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average close down 1.36% at 34,269 while the S&P 500 dropped 0.87% to 4,152 and the Nasdaq fell 0.09% to 13,389.

The pullback has been attributed to broad profit-taking activity following last week’s record run for equities, while sentiment has also been knocked by worries over inflation as the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The declines have continued in parts of Asia this morning, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 down 1.97% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.08%

On currency markets, the pound was down 0.16% against the dollar at US$1.412, although the UK GDP data could provide some catalyst for movement later today alongside US inflation numbers.

Around the markets:

Sterling: US$1.412, down 0.16%

Brent crude: US$68.65 a barrel, up 0.15%

Gold: US$1,830 an ounce, down 0.25%

Bitcoin: US$57,428, up 3.8%

6.50am: Early Markets – Asia / Australia

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly lower on Wednesday as investors remained cautious over growing inflation worries and rising COVID-19 cases.

The Taiwan Stock Exchange fell 4.3% after the territory experienced an unusual outbreak of six new cases with no clear infection source.

Taiwan had kept the pandemic well under control before this cluster.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 1.45% and South Korea’s Kospi dipped 1.32%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 0.25% while the Shanghai Composite in China rose 0.10%.

Shares in Australia fell, with the S&P/ASX 200 trading 0.78% lower.

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Proactive Australia news:

Walkabout Resources Ltd (ASX:WKT) (FRA:N6D) has raised A$6.4 million in tranche one of a staged placement that will enable it to advance construction of the flagship Lindi Jumbo Graphite Mine in Tanzania.

Emyria Ltd (ASX:EMD) has achieved class IIa ‘Software as a Medical Device’ registration in Australia for its unique smartphone-based, medical-grade, heart rate, heart rate variability  and atrial fibrillation monitoring application using only a smartphone camera.

Maximus Resources Ltd (ASX:MXR) has intersected high-grade gold with results of up to 3 metres at 17.2 g/t at Redback deposit within the Wattle Dam Project in Western Australia.

CardieX Ltd (ASX:CDX) subsidiary ATCOR has been granted a new patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the intellectual property (IP) surrounding its patented SphygmoCor® technology.

Noxopharm Ltd (ASX:NOX) has fully enrolled Part 2 of the NOXCOVID study looking into the potential of Veyonda® to block the cytokine release syndrome (CRS) or ‘cytokine storm’ and improve the outcomes in patients hospitalised with COVID-19.

Danakali Ltd (ASX:DNK) (LON:DNK) (OTCMKTS:SBMSF) (FRA:SO3) has completed a A$20.3 million placement to support the early works program at its Colluli Potash Project in Eritrea, East Africa.

Firefinch Ltd (ASX:FFX) (FRA:N9F) (OTCMKTS:EEYMF) is higher after discovering a new, very high-grade zone 250 metres south of K3 prospect within its 100%-owned Finkola permit – part of the Massigui Project which adjoins the Morila Gold Mine tenure in Mali.

Matador Mining Ltd (ASX:MZZ) (OTCMKTS:MZZMF) (FRA:MA3) has had early success in its 2021 power-auger drilling program at the 100%-owned Cape Ray Gold Project in Newfoundland, Canada, with sulphide-bearing quartz veins observed.

Blaze International Limited (ASX:BLZ) is acquiring Hammerhead Exploration Pty Ltd and Iconic Minerals Pty Ltd who collectively own six tenement applications in the Earaheedy Basin of Western Australia.

Alicanto Minerals Ltd (ASX:AQI) has intersected semi-massive sulphide skarn mineralisation with visual chalcopyrite in the second hole drilled at Stone Lake target within the Greater Falun Copper-Gold Project in Sweden.

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