The FTSE 100 and European stocks were down on Tuesday as traders appeared to be on the back foot despite figures showing an improved picture of UK public finances in January.
The FTSE 100 (^ FTSE) lost 0.27% to 7,992 points at the opening, while the CAC 40 (^FCHI) in Paris fell 0.23% to 7,318 points. In Germany, the DAX (^GDAXI) slipped 0.37% to 15,420.
Cash managed a £5.4 billion surplus in January, ahead of expectations for a deficit, but still well below the £12.5bn surplus in the same month a year earlier.
Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst, UK and EMEA, at OANDA, said: “This week may not be as action-packed as others we’ve had this month, but it there is still a lot to do for investors.”
Learn more: FTSE 100: HSBC’s quarterly profit nearly doubles on higher interest rates
“Today is littered with economic releases, with the PMI indices being a key feature.”
“At a time of such uncertainty inflation, interest rateand the economy, these prospective business surveys carry additional weight.
“And on top of that, they’re expected to show that companies are becoming less pessimistic, which would be a small win but a win nonetheless.”
Smith & nephew (SN.LE) was the best-performing stock on the FTSE 100 index after annual results pushed shares of the medical devices group up 5% or 58p to 1,219.5p.
InterContinental Hotels (IHGL.L) was down with shares down 1.54% after its annual figures, while HSBC (HSBA.L) fell 0.98% to 614.6p after reporting pre-tax profits of $5.2bn (£4.33bn) for the last three months of last year..
Antofagasta copper mine (ANTO.L) announced it was cutting its dividend as earnings fell more than a quarter for 2022.
Meanwhile, crude Brent (BZ=F) edged higher and traded at around $83 a barrel as higher US supply and expectations of further interest rate hikes dampened optimism about a recovery in demand in China .
In Asia, the Tokyo Nikkei 225 (^N225) lost 0.21% to 27,473 points, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) in Hong Kong fell 1.71% to 20,529. The Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) bucked the trend in Asian markets, rising 0.49% to 3,306 points.
Learn more: UK government posts unexpected budget surplus in January
Across the pond, US stock and bond markets were closed Monday for President’s Day.
S&P 500 Futures Contracts (FR=F), Dow futures (JM=F) and Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were all in the red at the start of trading in Europe.
Watch: Wall Street banks plan further interest rate hikes
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