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The FTSE 100 is still grappling with the resistance at 6300 but is currently trading up 60 points at 6290.
Hopes that a solution to the Portuguese government turmoil will be found were exhibited in early trade today as the Portuguese index (PSI 20) added 3.5%. With the US closed for Independence day, today will be very euro-centric and we can expect that any ensuing fireworks will remain stateside and of the celebratory variety as both the Bank of England and European Central Bank announce interest-rate decisions. No change is expected from either central bank, with new BoE governor Mark Carney unlikely to rock the boat in light of some fairly decent UK economic data of late.
A rate hold with a dovish tone is likely from ECB president Mario Draghi, in light of the recent developments in Portugal and the continued fragility of the eurozone as a whole. The timing of Spain’s bond auction today is probably not the best, demonstrated by the higher yield paid since the last auction. The country managed to obtain the target amount of €4 billion and investor interest does not appear to have waned greatly.
Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey retook the 100p per share mark on news that the company had traded at the upper end of expectations in the first half of the year. CEO Pete Redfern did however warn that the government scheme could be a hazard unless subjected to a time limit. When even those with skin in the game are dubious about the government's Help to Buy programme, you know there is a potential problem.
Tate & Lyle topped the index, adding 2.81% as their patent for a new low sodium salt product was granted. Having lost over 10% since hitting an all-time high of 886p in late May, the company looks set to attempt a complete reversal of the recent losses. The share price now stands at 840p.