Stock markets steady as confidence returns; more Carillion jobs lost – business live

Given all the drama February has brought with it, you can forgive investors for choosing to take a bit of a breather this President’s Day.

Without the US markets to provide any guidance this afternoon the European indices decided it was better to do nothing this Monday. The FTSE slipped by 0.1%, leaving it just below 7290; the DAX, meanwhile, gave up its 12500-crossing growth to sit flat around the 12460 mark, with the CAC trickling a couple of points lower.

The forex markets were just as barren. Cable was broadly unchanged at $1.4025, recovering from some morning losses that briefly left it the wrong side of $1.40, while against the euro the pound nudged 0.1% higher to tease €1.13.

In terms of earnings, Reckitt Benckiser kicked off a very busy week in pretty inauspicious fashion, contributing to the FTSE’s sluggish start. Despite a Mead Johnson-boosted 21% rise in total revenue to £11.5 billion and an 11% surge in pre-tax profit to £2.5 billion, the consumer goods firm – which counts Nurofen and Durex among its stable of products – fell 5.5% as the day went on, with investors disappointed that full year like-for-like growth was flat.


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