Ali Moore speaks with Nick Hodson from Lloyds TSB Private Banking about the latest market action in Europe.
ALI MOORE: Trading is well under way in Europe, and joining us from London is Nick Hodson from Lloyds TSB Private Banking.
Nick, thanks for joining us. The FTSE hit a new six year high in morning, though trading has been mixed.
NICK HODSON, LLOYDS TSB PRIVATE BANKING, LONDON: That's right. We hit 6400 first thing in morning but, since the start of the session, we’ve seen that trading's reduced somewhat, and we are around to 6379, pretty much unchanged on what we saw yesterday.
ALI MOORE: Do you think the 6400 was a one hit wonder or will it get back there today?
NICK HODSON: The investors are wondering really what Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, will say in his talk with Congress, I think, both over here in London and in the US as well. I think investors are pretty nervous, wondering what he might say.
ALI MOORE: We talked yesterday a lot about Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton and the rumours they are both running a ruler over Alcoa. What’s the latest on that in the European markets?
NICK HODSON: It seems that BHP are perhaps a little less keen on Alcoa than Rio is. There's been quote a little bit of chat about Alcoa in the market this morning, perhaps, a little bit mixed because Alcoa has a great deal of what we call downstream earnings and that's not quite as attractive as actually the mining of the ore itself and the production of aluminium, but there's been a great deal of chatter over here, not just in London, but also in Russia as well this morning, with the Russian anti monopoly commission clearing the way for two Russian companies to merge together, and they are going to create the largest aluminium producer on the planet.
ALI MOORE: Indeed, more consolidation in the industry but, if we look at deals that are actually happening elsewhere, a key German institution has brought a strategic stake in Asia. Who's bought what?
NICK HODSON: That's right, Ali. Deutsche Bourse, which is the equivalent of the London Stock Exchange. It’s the main stock exchange in Germany and it's decided to take a 5 per cent stake in the Bombay Stock Exchange, the BSE, and they are really looking forward to benefiting from the really good growth we are seeing in India at the moment. Also, the price isn't too bad as well because India is often compared to China and, of course, China has this stellar growth, and India isn't quite seen as the better brother of the two. So therefore the price isn't too bad either.
ALI MOORE: Indeed, stellar growth. We've talked about that with one of our other companies tonight as well. Very, very briefly, what are the futures telling us with Wall Street?
NICK HODSON: Over in Wall Street at the moment, pretty much flat. Futures are up one or two points at the moment for March end. So we are expecting a pretty flat opening for the Dow. Don't watch out for that 6400 on the FTSE 100 too soon.
ALI MOORE: Promise not to. Nick Hodson, thanks for bringing us up to date.
NICK HODSON: Thank you.