The FTSE 100 looks set to kick off the trading week in the red with vaccine hopes giving way to lockdown reality.
Little support is likely to be provided by Asia, where performance was mixed.
Sporadic upticks in infection rates across the region added to the nerves, while a stronger-than-expected performance from China’s manufacturing sector last month was largely overlooked.
Here in the UK, the political wrangling over the new coronavirus tiering system, which is set to kick in on Wednesday, looks likely to rumble on.
Brexit negotiations, meanwhile, are nearing the take-it-or-leave-it stage, according to the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier.
The weekend’s main business headlines were dominated by Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, which looks to be heading into some form of administration with as many as 15,000 jobs at risk.
An offer of a £50mln loan from Mike Ashley’s Frasers is been seen in some quarters as little short of a publicity stunt.
Weekend reports suggest Debenhams could be pushed to the brink with JD Sport apparently ready back out of a rescue deal.
Looking ahead, the big economic news on a quiet week is likely to be Friday’s US non-farm payrolls.
The rate of growth in the American labour market is set to have almost stagnated with as few as 60,000 new jobs added in November, down from 638,000 in October and 4.8mln in June.
This after a record 20.8mln joined the ranks of the unemployed in April.
The corporate diary here in the UK looks a little quieter than recent weeks with Berkeley Homes (LON:BKG), funds supermarket AJ Bell (LON:AJB) and publisher Future (LON:FUTR) representing the main highlights.
Around the market
- Pound US$1.3324 (+0.25%)
- Bitcoin US$18,554.12 (+4.2%)
- Gold US$1,772.40 (-0.88%)
- Brent crude US$47.19 (-2.1%)
6.45 am: Early Markets: Asia / Australia
Stocks in the Asia Pacific were mostly lower as China’s commerce ministry announced preliminary anti-dumping duties ranging from 107% to 212% on imported Australian wine.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 1.50% while South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.97%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.79%.
Chinese stocks were slightly higher with the Shanghai composite rising 0.10% after the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced 52.1 as the official manufacturing PMI for November.
That was above expectations of a 51.5 level forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was off to a good start but slipped 1.26% to close at 6,518.
Proactive Australia news:
Horizon Minerals Ltd (ASX:HRZ) has executed a binding agreement for the acquisition of a 50% interest in the high-grade Penny’s Find Gold Project in the Western Australian goldfields for $1.5 million cash from Orminex Ltd (ASX:ONX).
Aeris Resources Ltd’s (ASX:AIS) first drill hole at Anomaly K target of the Tritton copper operations in New South Wales has intersected an 18.8-metre interval containing disseminated and banded sulphides, including a 6.8-metre interval of massive pyrite bands with visible chalcopyrite.
Meteoric Resources NL (ASX:MEI) has received a second batch of assays from a maiden drilling program at Palm Springs Gold Project in WA, which returned wide high-grade gold intercepts at the Southern Extension, including 69 metres at 4.4 g/t.
FYI Resources Ltd (ASX:FYI) has received firm commitments to raise up to $6 million through a strongly supported placement to sophisticated and professional investors to advance its strategy of producing high-purity alumina from an innovative and fully integrated HPA project in Western Australia.
PNX Metals Ltd (ASX:PNX) (FRA:4P1) is undertaking a capital raising exercise comprising a placement and rights issue to raise up to $6.67 million to advance its exploration and development strategy focused on gold and zinc-gold-silver projects in the Northern Territory.
Castillo Copper Ltd (ASX:CCZ) has confirmed the strong potential of its Big One Deposit within Mt Oxide Project in northwest Queensland’s Mt Isa Copper Belt amidst a strong copper market with assays returning shallow copper mineralisation of up to 4.14%.
Ironbark Zinc Limited (ASX:IBG) is progressing towards the bankable feasibility study for its 100%-owned Citronen zinc-lead project in Greenland, with most of the heavy lifting already completed.
Nelson Resources Ltd (ASX:NES) plans to start drilling and Induced Polarisation (IP) surveys at its Woodline Gold Project on the boundary of the Albany Fraser Oregon and the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone belt in WA.
Maximus Resources Limited’s (ASX:MXR) field geological mapping and review of the Hilditch Gold Project within the company’s northern Spargoville tenements in Western Australia have outlined an extensive alteration domain.
Platina Resources Limited (ASX:PGM) (FRA:P4R) has completed the A$13.7 million sale of its Skaergaard gold and palladium project in Greenland to Canadian-listed Major Precious Metals Corp (CSE:SIZE) (OTCMKTS:SIZYF) (FRA:3EZ).