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FTSE 100 set for shaky start after Wall Street posts triple digit decline

The index of blue chip stocks will fall around 45 points to 6,277.4, according to the spread betting firms.

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Flags at half mast? Not quite, but US stocks took a bit of a biffing on Thursday.

The FTSE 100 is expected to fall sharply on open, mirroring the slide seen on Wall Street overnight.

The index of blue chip stocks will fall around 45 points to 6,277.4, according to the spread betting firms.

In the US there were triple digit losses as investors succumbed to a bout of the jitters on Thursday.

The Bank of Japan’s surprise ‘do nothing’ decision on monetary policy was in part responsible for the wobble that lopped 210 points, or 1.1% off the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Super-investor Carl Icahn added to the rather jumpy mood as it was revealed he offloaded his entire holding in Apple, which on Tuesday posted its first profit decline in more than a decade.

Speaking to the financial news channel CNBC, the billionaire activist revealed his negativity wasn’t confined to just the Apple.

He told the interviewer he is "still very cautious" on the US stock market and there will be a "day of reckoning" unless there was some sort of fiscal stimulus.

Over in Asia the markets were mixed. Japan was closed for a public holiday, Shanghai and the Hong Kong were down 0.2% and 1.3% respectively, while the commodities-driven ASX was up 0.5%.

According to the diary is there is a dearth of scheduled corporate news here in the UK ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.

*The Brent Crude Oil one-month future contract was trading marginally higher at US$48.14 per barrel, after climbing 2% yesterday.

*Gold was almost 1% higher at US$1,278.10 per ounce, after climbing 1.3% yesterday.

*Market Rumour: Ping An, one of China’s largest insurers, has backed a deal to buy the maker of Tommee Tippee baby products from British private equity group 3i in a further sign of Chinese corporate appetite for overseas consumer brands – FT.

Main City Headline

A trio of deals worth a combined $45bn breathed fresh life into the healthcare mergers and acquisitions boom on Thursday as Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie and Sanofi all went shopping for assets – FT.

Goldman Sachs looks set to be dragged into the growing storm over the collapse of BHS. The House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills select committee said it will launch an inquiry into what checks were taken to ensure Dominic Chappell and his consortium of mystery investors were the right buyers of the retailer – Telegraph.

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