FTSE sprints out of the blocks

Today the FTSE is up 80 points, with a combination of improving Chinese manufacturing figures and the reduced likelihood of military action in Syria probably being the largest contributing factors.

This has lifted the negative pressure that had been stifling markets, and as a result all major European markets have surged higher. 

Vodafone and mining stocks are leading the way. The telecoms company looks set for an £84 billion cash injection from the sale of its US Verizon holding, and shareholders are eagerly anticipating a large slice of that cake. HSBC has posting the latest Chinese manufacturing PMI figures and the market will be pleased to see a move back into growth following three fallow months from the Asian super power.

Unsurprisingly with this upturn in manufacturing it is the commodity stocks in the FTSE that are causing the most delight as they make up the bulk of the risers. Also, although far from the glory days, news of a 16% rise in available City jobs during August will no doubt help the mood on trading floors in the square mile.

Labor Day holidays for both the US and Canada will see the afternoon trading session quieter than might otherwise have been expected with such a robust start to the European trading day. This being said, markets could still be affected by US politicians voicing their views on Syria. Either way, the rest of the week will make up for the slow start, as unemployment, manufacturing PMI, trade balance and the US Federal Reserve's Beige Book figures are all being posted. This data could well give markets some sense of direction for both quantative easing tapering timetables, as well as the looming US debt ceiling.

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