FTSE 100 treads water as ‘Titanic’ week begins

Financial pages

London’s leading share index is flat in early trading as investors keep their powder dry ahead of a number of key economic data points being released later this week.

An hour after the open the FTSE 100 had made slight gains, up 0.15% or 9 points to 6,163, remaining near four and a half year highs.

Insurer Admiral led the index higher, rising over 5% to £12.18 after Goldman Sachs upgraded the company from neutral to buy. Aviva was also higher, up 1% at 371p, after Goldman reiterated its buy call.

Analysts at Investec have labelled the week ahead ‘Titanic' for markets in a note to clients, as investors keep an eye on several key economic indicators.

The most important of those datapoints, economically speaking, is the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) UK GDP reading for the fourth quarter of last year, with many economists suggesting UK growth will once again fall into negative territory.

Investors will also be keeping a close eye on how the ONS estimates output from the construction sector, a notoriously volatile measure.

Other key economic indicators this week include UK public sector finances data on Tuesday, followed by the latest UK employment figures on Wednesday.

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