EasyJet has led the way in early trade, as the firm manages to maintain profit expectations despite the recent struggles in the sector. Meanwhile, stocks are falling away as traders take profit off the back of a surprisingly positive week for markets

  • Stocks fall back as markets look for Chinese response to US targeting of Huawei

  • Sterling declines continue amid prospect of new leadership battle

  • easyJet the FTSE 100 leader despite drop in profits

European markets are trading lower, as traders look to take profits off the back of a surprisingly positive week. Fears over the possibility of another drawn out phase of tit-for-tat measures from the US and China remain prevalent despite recent gains, with a reaction from China likely after the US announced a state of emergency that seemed to target Huawei operations within the country. The deterioration in sterling has certainly provided the FTSE 100 with a substantial boost over the course of the week, with the prospect of Theresa May departing in favour of a Brexiteer ramping up fears of a hard-Brexit.

EasyJet has been the surprise leader on the FTSE 100 today, as the airline’s share price took off despite seeing pre-profits plunge to a loss £275m over the past six-months. However, with TUI and Thomas Cook posting substantial losses of late, we have seen expectations of a profit warning drive easyJet lower before today’s earnings. Ultimately, with the company seeing a 13% rise in passengers and profits expected to remain in line with prior expectations, this is a case of a company outperforming a very low bar set by the market. With the airline taking steps to avoid the impact of future strikes and airports better prepared for other drone incident, traders are growing confident that these
recent losses are a one-off rather than a new norm.   

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to open 127 points lower, at 25,736.

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