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Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Software giant Micro Focus soared to the top of the FTSE 100 yesterday after shaking off fears that recently acquired HPE Software could be tricky reboot as the new division surprisingly arrested its revenue decline.
The software business, which specialises in revitalising ailing IT firms, jumped 136p to ?23.43 as its new business’ adjusted revenues declined by just 3pc in the third quarter, a significant improvement on the 9pc plummet it experienced in the previous quarter.
Investors feared that Micro Focus had purchased faulty goods when it revealed in May that HPE Software’s performance was worse than first imagined, sending its shares sliding 5.7pc.
The improvement in HPE Software’s margins ahead of the ?6.8bn deal, which was completed last Friday and makes Micro Focus the biggest tech company in the UK, “should ideally mean a quicker path” to margin recovery, argued Citi analyst Rahul Chopra.
Barclays warned investors, however, that “one quarter does not make a trend” and that the update should be viewed in the context of the disappointing previous quarter.
Micro Focus’ 6.2pc climb wasn’t enough to pull the FTSE 100 into positive territory, however, with the index’s afternoon rally being too little too late as risk aversion on stock markets began to ebb. The index closed 18.79 points lower at 7,354.13, the pound’s move higher against the dollar following the resignation of US Federal Reserve vice chair Stanley Fischer killing off its recovery.
Elsewhere, fashion e-tailer boohoo.com climbed 14.3p to 243.8p after Barclays joined the growing consensus of analysts putting the AIM-listed company on their “buy” lists. The company’s competitive advantage in its supply chain and its online-only model will bump up its shares for years to come, analyst Andrew Ross told clients.
While boohoo.com, a big fish in a small pond on the junior market, is pricey at its valuation and could face some margin pressure in the future due to its new warehouse and limited tech investment, its PrettyLittleThing division has undergone “extremely strong progression” over the summer and is almost as big as rival Missguided in terms of users.
Lloyd’s of London insurers Lancashire Holdings, Hiscox and Beazley dived as investors started to count the cost of payouts from Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma reached land in the Caribbean, potentially racking up more heavy losses for the companies.
Beazley tumbled furthest, shedding 27.8p, or 5.7pc, to 459.9p while Lancashire and Hiscox retreated 19p to 646p and 23p to ?12.30, respectively.
Finally, FTSE 100 housebuilder Barratt Developments’ cautious outlook in its strong full-year results pulled it down 28.5p to 595.5p with blue-chip peers Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon slipping 3.4p to 195.4p and 63p to ?25.61, respectively.
5:55PM
Markets wrap: European stocks largely pare losses; traders await ECB policy meeting
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

ECB president Mario Draghi could announce a shift in policy in tomorrow's meeting
Waning risk aversion on the markets has helped European stock indices pare early losses and head back towards positive territory once again. 
While the CAC 40 in Paris and DAX in Frankfurt climbed, the FTSE 100 couldn't snap its three-day losing streak with blue-chip housebuilders falling most after Barratt Developments' cautious outlook in its full-year results pulled down the entire sector.
Software giant Micro Focus jumping 6.2pc on its newly-acquire HPE Software division arresting its revenue decline and oil services firm Petrofac gaining 8.6pc after securing a $700m contract in Russia were two bright spots in London.
There was little economics data to move currency markets as traders eagerly await tomorrow's ECB policy meeting when the central bank could announce the winding down of its quantitative easing programme. 
The Bank of Canada unexpectedly hiking interest rates to 1pc sent the Canadian dollar soaring while the dollar was knocked by the resignation of US Federal Reserve vice chair Stanley Fischer.
IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp gave his take on today's action:

"A steady afternoon rally has seen the FTSE 100 recover most of its lost ground, but it remains in the red as the session draws to a close. Over on Wall Street US markets are moving higher after their drubbing yesterday, but it seems clear that risk appetite is struggling to gain a foothold as the market deals with hurricanes, North Korea, administrative struggles in Washington and the surprise resignation of the deputy Fed chair.
"Flight to safety in government bonds has driven yields lower, and when combined with yesterday’s dovish comments from Fed policymaker Brainard, the result has been  to put severe pressure on bank stocks."
4:50PM
FTSE 100 struggles to recover from poor start
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

The FTSE 100 couldn't rally into positive territory unlike the DAX in Germany and CAC 40 in France
Markets in Europe are now closed and the FTSE 100's afternoon rally was too little too late with the index retreating 0.2pc today. Our markets wrap and market report will follow soon...
4:12PM
US Federal Reserve vice chair resigns; strengthens Trump's scope to shake-up Fed
Here's Stanley Fischer's letter of resignation pic.twitter.com/IBcDuUbiqP— Joe Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) September 6, 2017
The US Federal Reserve's vice chair Stanley Fischer has in the last few moments resigned from the central bank.
The move gives Donald Trump more scope to reshape the central bank's board to his liking with Mr Fischer warning Mr Trump in his resignation letter that the lessons from the financial crisis have made the system "stronger and more resilient". 
Mr Trump has vowed to tear apart regulation in order to help growth but policymakers at the Fed, including chair Janet Yellen, have backed the measures put in place following the crisis. His term was due to finish in June next year but he will now leave in October instead.
The dollar has taken a small knock from the announcement on the currency markets, the pound rising 0.4pc to $1.3065 against the greenback.
Aha! Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer stepping down! Doesn't want to be blamed for coming financial crisis? Fed up with FOMC? Or just tired?— Harald Malmgren (@Halsrethink) September 6, 2017
3:37PM
FTSE 100 companies being asked to support Government's approach to Brexit
Theresa May wants the FTSE100 bosses to sign a letter saying they agree with her handling of Brexit. Gosh https://t.co/4Y0uX3EXzj— Rob Buckley (@RobBuckley) September 6, 2017
Quite a strange development is coming out of Downing Street this afternoon.
According to Sky News sources, FTSE 100 companies are being asked to give their support to the Government's approach to Brexit.
Sky News said:

Sky News has obtained a letter being circulated in FTSE-100 and other company boardrooms which praises ministers' commitment to securing a transition period after the UK leaves the European Union (EU).
It also expresses confidence in the future of "a global Britain" and says that the Government's Repeal Bill will "make Britain ready for life outside the EU".
Executives in sectors including financial services, manufacturing and technology are among those approached about signing the letter, which is expected to be published as early as Thursday
Sources at some of the UK's biggest businesses expressed incredulity at the request from No 10, which comes at a time when Theresa May's relationship with the private sector is already under strain.

Not sure how much support she's going to get on that one to be honest given her anti-corporate rhetoric and pledge to take the UK out of the single market...
3:28PM
US markets rebound as FTSE 100 heads towards positive territory
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

The Dow Jones has been lifted by energy stocks this afternoon
US stock markets have rebounded into positive territory this afternoon, shaking off the geopolitical fears that dogged equities yesterday.
With Brent crude cents away $54 per barrel after continuing to rally higher today, energy stocks are leading the rebound on the Dow Jones, which has advanced 0.3pc.
On European stock markets, the FTSE 100 is still the biggest laggard but is heading towards positive territory with the CAC 40 and DAX paring heavy early losses to rebound firmly into the green.
Spreadex analyst commented that the positive reaction after the opening bell in New York has fed through to European stocks:

"A positive open in the US helped the European indices undergo quite the turnaround this Wednesday afternoon.   Though its 60 to 80 point climb still leaves the index around 100 points away from where it started yesterday, that the Dow Jones didn’t continue its North Korea-fearing fall was enough to cheer up Europe’s previously gloomy investors.
"Talking of the forex markets, there was almost no movement between the dollar/euro/pound this Wednesday. That’ll be in part due to the fact that the week’s main forex-event – tomorrow’s ECB meeting – is yet to come, investors having little reason to change their positions until after Draghi’s latest comments."
3:13PM
Bank of Canada unexpectedly raises interest rates to 1pc
BOC hikes rates by 0.25%, second in a row. Cites stronger than expected data and stability in Crude.— Amit Kumar Gupta (@amitgupta0310) September 6, 2017
The Bank of Canada has in the last few moments unexpectedly raised interest rates to 1pc, brushing off inflation concerns. 
Markets expected the central bank to hold off from increasing its overnight rate for the second time this year but in the last few moments it has shrugged off inflation concerns and hiked rates anyway.
The markets thought there was just a 43pc probability of a hike today but Canada's strong economic performance has persuaded its rate-setters to tighten policy.
In its statement it emphasised that inflation was progressing as expected:

"While inflation remains below the 2 per cent target, it has evolved largely as expected in July. There has been a slight increase in both total CPI and the Bank’s core measures of inflation, consistent with the dissipating negative impact of temporary price shocks and the absorption of economic slack.
"Given the stronger-than-expected economic performance, Governing Council judges that today’s removal of some of the considerable monetary policy stimulus in place is warranted. "

Against the Canadian dollar, the pound has plunged 1pc immediately following the decision to CAD$1.2921 as one would expect.
So there's the first major release in this month's mini-central banking season and if that's a sign of things to come it could be a very interesting month.
LiveSquawk: BOC: consumer spending, job and income growth are robust”— Value's Vector (@pulpmarkets) September 6, 2017
BOC - "deal with it" pic.twitter.com/WI97Q3Jdqs— Ben Tucker (@Benalextucker) September 6, 2017
2:48PM
Deutsche Bank boss warns "era of cheap money" needs to end 
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Deutsche Bank's boss John Cryan
The head of Germany's biggest bank has called for Europe's "era of cheap money" to end as price bubbles form, sounding a warning a day before the European Central Bank holds a crucial policy meeting. 
Deutsche Bank chief John Cryan said that while cheap money has helped countries and banks "emerge from the financial crisis" - the ECB is currently pouring ˆ60bn (?55bn) into the economy each month - it is now causing "ever greater upheavals" across a number of areas.
"We are now seeing signs of bubbles in more and more parts of the capital market where we wouldn’t have expected them," he said in Frankfurt, noting property prices in advanced economies had hit record levels.
Read Lucy Burton's full report here
2:32PM
Sports Direct chairman survives re-election vote
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell (right) arrives at the company headquarters in Shirebrook, Nottinghamshire, ahead of its annual general meeting
Just a quick mention for Sports Direct's AGM today where chairman Keith Hellawell has just survived a vote for re-election with 53.24pc of independent shareholders backing him.
While that might look like a close vote, Mr Hellawell has actually strengthened his position. He was saved from the sack earlier this year thanks to the intervention of majority shareholder Mike Ashley when more than half of independent shareholders voted against him.
After all the noise from shareholders, PC Plod survives at Sports Direct - 53.24% of independent investors back chairman Keith Hellawell.— Alistair Osborne (@aliosborne20) September 6, 2017
2:13PM
Facebook to pay music industry millions to protect users from breaking copyright
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

The deals would cover usage costs for 2 billion monthly users
Facebook is to pay millions in royalty fees to the music industry to protect its users from copyright violation when they upload videos that contain illegal uses of songs. 
The social network is seeking deals with record labels and publishers that would cover usage costs for its 2 billion monthly users, according to Bloomberg
Until now Facebook has been obliged to remove videos that infringe copyright law, as it is liable for material on its platform that it doesn't have the rights to. Under the new plans it could pay millions of dollars to buy the rights to music that its users are posting.
Facebook has been working with the music industry to build a tool that will flag offending material, but it could take two years to complete, according to Bloomberg. In the mean time, it could pay up to avoid upsetting users, partners and advertisers. 
Read Cara McGoogan's full report here
1:50PM
ECB meeting preview: Markets underestimate the ECB's caution
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

If the ECB doesn't announce the tightening of monetary policy tomorrow then its next meetings in October and December will the dates in investors' diaries
The markets have been poised all summer for Mario Draghi and the ECB to announce that monetary policy could begin returning to normal as the eurozone's recovery strengthens.
Mr Draghi sent the euro and bond yields soaring following a hawkish speech in June at Sintra, Portugal, and some investors had earmarked the Jackson Hole central banking conference at the end of August as a possible time for him to announce the winding down of its quantitative easing programme.
But Mr Draghi held fire and analysts are starting to believe he may delay for a little longer still.
Martin Arnold, FX and macro strategist at ETF Securities, believes the markets continue to underestimate the ECB's caution.
He said: 

"We feel that the market has already largely priced in the tapering of the central bank’s bond purchasing programme. As a result, while there could be a brief spike higher for the euro, it will be temporary.
"We feel FX markets are continuing to underestimate the cautiousness of the ECB in changing its policy settings. Investors should be wary, as ECB policymakers are already concerned about the rise in the euro."
#ECB #Draghi has very fine balancing act, as he has to prepare the #market for #tapering- @BNPParibasCIB @MortimerleePaul on @BloombergTV pic.twitter.com/sFwzdfAgiF— Sarisher KM (@Sarisher_KM) September 6, 2017
1:27PM
German FinMin calls for monetary policy normalisation at ECB
REALLY? German FinMin Schaeuble says EVERYONE wants a normalization of monetary policy as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/VVBvALPPpI— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) September 6, 2017
In addition to Deutsche Bank's chief executive John Cryan calling for a change in monetary policy at the ECB in tomorrow's meeting, Germany's finance minister Wolfgang Schauble said at the same conference that "we should get back to a normal monetary policy".
He added that the eurozone has returned to a "normal situation much quicker than people thought", putting more pressure on ECB president Mario Draghi and co to begin tapering the central bank's bond-buying programme.
Germany finance minister,Wolfgang Schauble, says #ECB must normalise policy, end money-printing #QE programme and raise borrowing costs 1/ pic.twitter.com/F0WPRuONVE— Gunn Kristin Storr? (@gstorro) September 6, 2017
And if that wasn't enough of Mr Schauble sticking his oar in, he also said on Brexit that the UK is at the beginning of a "learning curve" and that it was a decision "wrong from every angle". 
12:58PM
Franco Manca warns on profits as a sales slowdown and rising costs bite
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

The owner of pizza chain Franco Manca has warned profits will be below market expectations
The owner of the Franco Manca pizza chain has said it won’t raise prices in the short term in spite of a summer customer lull and rising costs which prompted it to issue a profit warning and knocked a fifth off its shares.
Aim-listed Fulham Shore, which also owns The Real Greek chain, said reduced levels of trade, particularly in its sites in the London suburbs, had hit sales and that higher costs from the likes of the national living wage and rising business rates had pushed costs up.
This meant while its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation would be “significantly higher” in the current financial year than the previous one, the level is “likely to be less than the current market expectations” of ?8.8m, according to Bloomberg data.
Read Bradley Gerrard's full report here
Fulham Shore shares
12:27PM
Lunchtime update: Geopolitical fears continue to grip the markets
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Kim Jong-un could conduct more tests on Saturday, North Korea's founding day
A fresh wave of investor angst as tensions continue to rise on the Korean Peninsular has hit stock markets this morning with the FTSE 100 retreating 0.7pc on the renewed sell-off.
Financial stocks, which are also nervy due to the dovish comments on hiking interest rates from US Federal Reserve policymaker Lael Brainard yesterday and ahead of the ECB's meeting tomorrow, have suffered most in London this morning.
Housebuilders have also retreated despite strong interim results from Barratt Developments with investors unimpressed by the company's cautious guidance.
On the forex markets, the pound has been lifted to $1.3050 against the dollar on the back of those comments from Ms Brainard and has recovered early lost ground against the euro with a dearth of economics data available this morning to move the currencies.
Here's the current state of play in Europe: 
FTSE 100: -0.69pc
DAX: -0.02pc
CAC 40: -0.19pc
IBEX: -0.46pc
12:10PM
Property market in UK regions remains strong, Harworth says
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Andrew Kirkman, financial director at the firm said "there are more sites out there for us to buy than we have money for"
The development market for both housing and commercial buildings is holding up in the UK regions as land sales remain high, according to land company Harworth.
The company has continued to buy sites in the north of England and the Midlands in order to expand its pipeline, and has ambitions to expand into other regions of the UK.
Harworth, which owns and manages more than 22,000 acres of land across 140 sites, works to make so-called brownfield land suitable for development. Much of its portfolio comes from its former life as the real estate arm of UK Coal.
Read Rhiannon Bury's full report here
11:50AM
Brent crude at highest level in over three months
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Brent crude is rallying towards $54 per barrel, a level it hasn't reached since May
Energy stocks are struggling this morning along with the rest of the equity markets despite Brent crude marching towards the $54 per barrel mark.
The price has rebounded to its highest level since late May as demand rises from the US' refining hub in Texas returning to normality following Hurricane Harvey.
The latest weekly oil stocks data from the American Petroleum Institute could help it touch over the $54 mark this afternoon but the figures are expected to be heavily distorted by the disruption caused by the hurricane. 
IG market analyst Joshua Mahony explains how prices might move this week:

"While many refineries may have some lasting impact, the fact that we have seen the storm move away from the sensitive Texas region means that we will see many refineries back on track, raising demand for crude, and raising the supply of gasoline.
"With crude prices on the rise, there are hopes that this will help boost the commodity heavy FTSE 100 index."

While we're on oil, Petrofac's 5.3pc share price jump on the FTSE 250 is also worth a mention. The mid-cap services firm is leading the pack on the index after tying up a $700m contract to maintain an oil processing facility in Russia.
11:20AM
ECB policy meeting looms; Deutsche Bank boss calls for shift in ECB policy
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

ECB president Mario Draghi was tight-lipped over monetary policy at the Jackson Hole central banking conference in late August
The pound has given up some of yesterday's strong gains against the euro this morning as the ECB's latest policy meeting hangs over the markets
ECB president Mario Draghi could announce that the central bank will soon begin tapering its ˆ60bn-a-month quantitative easing programme but the markets' hopes of a shift tomorrow are dwindling.
A growing number of analysts believe that the eurozone's recovery is now strong enough to withstand a shift in monetary policy but sources within the central bank say that its policymakers are still worried that eurozone inflation might be too weak. 
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Deutsche boss John Cryan has called for a shift in policy at the ECB 
John Cryan talks to @gaborsteingart "Uncertainty about Europe seems to be over." #HBBanken— Jorg Eigendorf (@JoergEigendorf) September 6, 2017
There are concerns that the surge in the euro since Mr Draghi hinted at a shift in policy earlier this summer is pulling down already sluggish inflation.
There is, however, a growing clamour for change with Deutsche Bank chief executive John Cryan today calling for a shift in policy.
According to Reuters, Mr Cryan warned:

"The era of cheap money in Europe should come to an end - despite the strong euro...
"We are now seeing signs of bubbles in more and more parts of the capital market."
Cryan: Mario Draghi is extremely well advised. But no central banker thinks negative interest rates should last forever. #HBBanken— Jorg Eigendorf (@JoergEigendorf) September 6, 2017
10:52AM
Sports Direct tries to persuade the City its new strategy is on track ahead of possible revolt against the retailer's chairman
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell could be toppled in today's vote
Sports Direct has attempted to soothe the City ahead of a rebellion against its chairman by revealing that it is optimistic about the success of its “Selfridges of sport” strategy.
The strategy, unveiled last year, has been the brainchild of Sports Direct majority shareholder and chief executive Mike Ashley, who two weeks ago announced he would not be attending the once-a-year meeting because he was too busy.
His attempt to turn Sports Direct into a version of the upmarket department store comes after years of the sportswear retailer's "pile it high, sell it cheap” strategy. This damaged its relationship with brands like Nike and Adidas. 
As a result of not stocking the latest ranges of trainers and leggings, Sports Direct has missed out on the lucrative athleisure trend, which has fuelled growth at archrival JD Sports.
Read Ashley Armstrong's full report here
10:30AM
Bank of Canada interest rate decision due
#FX / #Investment - #USDCAD : #BoC is now expected to move faster on interest rates than even the #FED. Poloz takes hawkish turn. pic.twitter.com/rmUxdHHd8j— Marc-Andre Fongern (@SkandiStreet) September 5, 2017
The Bank of Canada's latest monetary policy meeting is also something to keep an eye on this afternoon with the central bank set to soon hike rates for the second time in the current cycle.
The markets are currently pricing in a 43pc probability of an interest rate rise today but analysts believe that dwindling hike hopes in the US could be enough to keep rates unchanged at 0.75pc.
Derek Halpenny, European head of global markets research, explains why the BoC might hold off from raising rates for now:

"On the surface, it could be argued with relative ease that there is enough justification for a the Bank of Canada to hike rates today as inflation is drifting higher, retail sales were much stronger than expected and Q2 annualised real GDP was the strongest since Q3 2011.
"However, there are reasons for caution too. USD/CAD has now declined by 10% since early May and that scale of move cannot be ignored. There are also a number of key events over the coming weeks, including the formal start of balance sheet shrinkage by the FOMC, which the BoC will likely wish to gauge the fallout from before acting."
10:24AM
Eurozone retail sector slows; new work in German construction sector at record pace
German Factory Orders unexpectedly fall in July. pic.twitter.com/SLkyDhJsBC— Sigma Squawk (@SigmaSquawk) September 6, 2017
There's no top grade economics data for traders to digest but there are a couple of little bits from Europe that are worth a quick mention.
A mixed bag of figures in Germany saw new work in the construction sector rise at a record pace in August but month-on-month factory orders growth unexpectedly dived to -0.7pc. Meanwhile in the eurozone, retail PMI fell to 50.8 as monthly sales growth slowed in the region with France and Italy weighing most on the figures.
Alex Gill, an economist at IHS Markit, said:

"Mixed messages were evident in the latest eurozone retail data. While monthly sales continued to rise, they did so at a weaker and marginal pace.
"Furthermore, diverging trends were illustrated at the country level, with the overall slowdown largely a result of a marked moderation in like-for-like sales growth in France." 
10:07AM
Profits at Barratt Developments surge by 12pc
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Barratt's average selling price has increased 6pc
Profits at Barratt Developments, the UK’s biggest housebuilder, jumped by more than 12pc in the last year as the company was boosted by rising house prices.
Barratt said its average selling price in the year to June 30 increased by 6pc to ?275,200 from the previous year.
The FTSE 100 company said pre-tax profits for the year were ?765m, up 12.1pc from ?682m in the previous year. Revenues, meanwhile, rose 9.8pc to ?4.7bn.
In total, Barratt’s housebuilding volumes came in at 17,395, its highest level in nine years but only 0.4pc ahead of the previous year.
Shares fell 4pc in early trading, however, with the company's "modest" growth outlook disappointing investors.
Read Sam Dean's full report here
Barratt Developments
9:45AM
Europe takes cue from negative US and Asia sessions; gold remains at 11-month high
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Negative sessions in the US and Asia have continued this morning in Europe
European stocks have largely taken their cue from very negative sessions overnight in the US and Asia.
The Dow Jones slipped 1.1pc yesterday with traders' reaction to the weekend's nuclear weapons testing in North Korea delayed by Monday's bank holiday in the states. Investor sentiment in the US is not being helped by the incoming Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade.
Safe havens' gains are slowing but gold remains at an 11-month high, trading at $1337.71 per ounce.
Investors aren't "running scared" but are "reluctant to start a fresh round of buying", according to CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
London Capital Group analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya explained the renewed angst:

"Equity traders have hard time clearing their thoughts as the North Korean nuclear threat occupy the global headlines.
"Safe haven assets remain in demand as Asia Business Daily based in Seoul reported that North Korea could launch a new missile before Saturday." 
Asian stocks fell in most markets as nations grapple with how to deal with escalating provocations from North Korea.— Mike Heelan (@MichaelHeelan) September 6, 2017
9:20AM
Ryanair falls 1pc on new luggage rules
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Ryanair's new luggage rules have't convinced investors this morning
Budget airliner Ryanair is one of the big name strugglers this morning after announcing new luggage rules for passengers. The no-frills airline has ditched its popular two carry-on bag policy and cut fees for a 20kg bag, sending its shares sliding 1pc.
ETX Capital Neil Wilson said that investors aren't convinced by the new rules:

"The only important number is ˆ50m – the amount Ryanair says it will cost the airline in lost check-in charges. It hopes to claw this back by encouraging more people to check in bag but investors aren’t buying it.
"Worries about a turbulent second half, terror attacks in Europe and falling average fares have already got the market worried, although traffic growth in August was strong."

Elsewhere in the sector, despite increasing its average load factor (how full the plane is) to 96.3pc in August, easyJet has pared its early gains and joined the majority of the FTSE 100 in the red.
9:01AM
Financials and miners pull FTSE 100 lower; Barratt Developments drops 4.3pc despite dividend hike
Key figures call for policy shift ahead of ECB meeting; US markets rebound from North Korea jitters

Barratt Developments was the sharpest faller on the FTSE 100 early on despite hiking its dividend
The FTSE 100 has been hardest hit in Europe this morning from the renewed  geopolitical fears thanks to the heavy weighting of its financial and commodity stocks. After falling sharply early on, the UK's blue-chip stocks are regaining some of their confidence, however.
Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell explained why investor jitters have re-emerged:

"South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in stated that the situation was becoming ‘uncontrollable’, while North Korea’s UN ambassador Han Tae Song claimed the US can expect to receive more nuclear test ‘gift packages’.
"Add onto this the threat of Hurricane Irma, currently in the Caribbean and heading towards Florida, and there was little reason for market-cheer.
"The FTSE was up there with the worst performers, falling half a percent largely thanks to the weight of its commodity stocks."

Despite strong results and hiking its dividend 39pc this morning, Barratt Developments has dropped most this morning on the blue-chip index, slipping 4.3pc. 
Investors are noting the housebuilder's rather cautious outlook with Barratt expecting only "modest" growth in 2018 financial year.
8:30AM
Agenda: Fresh North Korea jitters hit markets; traders lock onto ECB meeting
The FTSE 100 has lurched into the red this morning after a fresh wave of geopolitical angst hit the markets overnight.
Financials and miners are facing the brunt of the renewed sell-off with Asia-exposed HSBC weighing on the blue-chip index most early on.
Only a handful of stocks remain in positive territory with easyJet's strong passenger numbers lifting it towards the top of the leaderboard
Asia stocks down hit by risk aversion as N Korea worries persist. Fear factor drives US 10y yields to lowest since aftermath of Trump win. pic.twitter.com/O3aeK82TTm— Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) September 6, 2017
A dearth of economics data this morning means traders' focus is turning towards the European Central Bank's policy meeting tomorrow when president Mario Draghi could announce the winding down of its quantitative easing programme. 
No pre-match nerves are getting the better of the euro on the forex markets, however, with the currency's strength one of the main reasons the central bank could hold off in order to ensure that inflation isn't weakened any further. 
The pound has held its gains against the dollar from yesterday afternoon when US Federal Reserve policy maker Lael Brainard said that inflation was falling well short of its target and warned other rate-setters to be cautious when deciding whether to hike rates.
The Fed's Beige Book, an analysis of the current state of the American economy, is the highlight of the US session with investors hunting for clues on the next monetary policy move at the central bank.
Interim results: Harworth Group, Gama Aviation, PPHE Hotel Group, Faron Pharmaceuticals, Vectura Group, WANdisco
Full-year results: Diurnal Group
AGM: Inspirit Energy Holdings, Hornby, The Fulham Shore, Oneview Group, Sports Direct International, Severfield, Funding Circle SME Income Fund, Trakm8 Holdings
Economics: BRC Shop Price Index y/y (UK), Inflation Report Hearings (UK), Trade Balance (US), Retail PMI (EU), Factory Orders m/m (GER)

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