London pre-open: A bit of calm after the storm


Investors appear to be in wait-and-see mode after yesterday's heavy well-off in global markets.

Spread betting quotes suggest that after slumping 131 points yesterday to 6,417, the UK's top-share index will open on or around last night's closing level.

Concerns over Greece exiting the Eurozone were behind yesterday's global sell-off, while the tumbling oil price put the oil majors under pressure.

Stateside, the Dow Jones average crashed 331 points (1.9%) to 17,501 while the broader-based S&P 500 was down by a similar percentage - 1.8%, or 38 points - to 2,021.

The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite got off relatively lightly, shedding 74 points (1.6%) at 4,652.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index has been hammered, falling 526 points (3.0%) to 16,883, as investors fret over the rising value of the yen and the effect it will have on Japan's export economy.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index was off 322 points (1.4%) at 23,399.

With the corporate agenda in the UK still threadbare, focus is likely to remain on political machinations in the Eurozone and on the oil price; Brent crude for February delivery is actually up a tad on the day, rising 17 cents to US$53.28 a barrel, while West Texas light sweet crude has managed to keep its chin above the US$50 a barrel mark, and is also up 17 cents, at US$50.21.

The big round of Christmas trading updates from the UK retailers gets underway in earnest tomorrow, but Topps Tiles (LON:TPT) provides a bit of an aperitif today.

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