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Muted start predicted for the FTSE 100; all eyes on BAE deal

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The FTSE 100 is predicted to open a point higher compared with its overnight close at 5,871.

The UK corporate headlines have been dominated by the news just after the market close that BAE Systems is in merger discussions with the pan-European defence consortium EADS.

We will get reaction to this and the launch overnight of the new Apple iPhone 5, although the response State-side was somewhat muted.

Wall Street saw early strong gains all but wiped out as the mood turned a little more cautious ahead of a Federal Reserve decision later today on another round of monetary stimulus. 

"There is still a flow of US macro data which could counter the need (nothing great, but not disastrous either)," said Mike van Dulken, Head of Research at Accendo Markets. 

"However, the growing dovishness of comments from the Federal Open market Committee and their increasingly ‘ready to act’ stance has seen markets pretty much price in a move. If anything, real reaction would likely now come from Fed inactivity." 

The Dow Jones added just 9.99 points on Wednesday, rising to 13,333.35, while the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 3.01 points to 1,436.57. 

Japan's Nikkei edged lower 0.1 per cent lower to 8,955.26 as the Asian markets were in watch and wait mode ahead of the Fed’s decision.

A busy day for UK financial results kicks off with figures from the retailer Next (LON:NXT), which will give us some clues about the state of the retail market.  


 

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