Source - SMW
London equities will open with the Bank of England's midday policy meeting at the centre of the market's attention, with expectations being that interest rates and QE would be left unmoved.

This came after the US Federal Reserve last night, in with views, hiked its interest rates. It also laid out a plan for balance sheet reduction. It believed inflation would fall below its 2% target this year.

In the UK, a string of ex-dividend stocks would likely act as ballast on the FTSE. UK retail sales at 9.30am would also be in focus. Shortly after 6am, sterling was a little lower on the dollar and euro.

The UK -- thanks to Brexit and the hung parliament -- has seen sterling plunge lower, causing inflation to hit 2.9% in May. At the same time, average earnings in the three months to April rose just 1.7%.

US & ASIA

In the US last night, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.22% to 21,374.56, the S&P 500 lost 0.1% to 2437.92 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.41% to 6194.89.

In Asia this morning, the Nikkei 225 had fallen 0.34% to 19,815.63, while the Hang Seng shed 106% to 25,601.68.

At 6.04am, WTI crude was down 0.07% to $44.70/bbl and Brent was up 0.06% to $47.03/bbl. Gold was down 0.74% to $1266.4/oz, with silver also firmly down and copper making minor gains.

LONDON MARKETS

Interim results are due from Safestore, while final results are expected from Consort Medical and Majestic Wine.

Trading statements are due from Drax and PZ Cussons. Shareholder meetings are scheduled for Attraqt, City Merchants High Yield Trust, Himalayan Fund, Loopup, Metals Exploration and Serabi Mining.