afternoon market comment – 13/02/14

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European shares snap a winning streak, dragged lower following a number of disappointing updates from blue-chip companies. Rolls-Royce and Tate & Lyle battled for the worse FTSE 100 decliner, with shares in RR dropping 16 percent after it emerged US and European spending cuts would halt profit growth in 2014. Tate & Lyle dropped 15 percent after the sweetener-maker warned on profits, blaming weak sales in developed markets. Shares in Nestle also dropped 2.1 percent after it released a warning that it may undershoot its long-term growth targets again this year due to weakening demand from emerging markets. 

A report from the US Commerce Department released today showed that retail sales fell by 0.4% last month. The figure, with many expecting a 0.3% increase adds to further negativity today with retail sales making up 2/3 of the US GDP. Unemployment Claims also performed marginally worse than expected with claims increasing 8,000 since last week. 

US futures are indicating a 100 point lower open as investors digest the latest economic releases and corporate earnings. Cisco Systems and Whole Foods dropped 4% and 9% during pre-market trading following a miss in earnings whilst Time Warner Cable was up 11% after Comcast Corp agreed to acquire the cable company for $45.2bn.

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