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At the end of the trading day the FTSE 100 is positive, up around 29 points at 6764. A big mover has been HSBC which was up around 2.5% as third-quarter profits came in at $4.5 billion – 30% up from the same period a year ago. The share price performance bucked the trend for the rest of the UK banking sector, most of which ended the day in the negative. Despite today’s boost for HSBC, sentiment towards the banks in general has waned somewhat over the last few months, and it seems unlikely that these numbers will be seen as a sea-change in fortunes for banks as a whole – at least in the short term.
Wider market sentiment, on the other hand, definitely seems to have improved in recent days. The FTSE 100 is within 100 points or so of this year’s high, set in May. We are all aware of how Christmas comes earlier every year, so maybe it’s not too early to start thinking about the fabled Santa rally. With investors still apparently optimistic for on the hopes of blue chip shares it doesn’t seem beyond the bounds of possibility that we could see the FTSE set fresh highs for the year, particularly if the US and Germany’s DAX remain strong. A push to 7,000 might be a little too aggressive in the weeks ahead, but for now at least traders and investors alike remain inclined to treat weakness as a buying opportunity rather than the first steps towards a bigger correction.
Later this week Twitter debuts on the New York Stock Exchange. In a surprise move today the company revised up its IPO price, boosting its opening share price range to the $23/$25 mark. This puts its market cap at around $13.5 billion on day one – still well below the $24 billion market cap that IG clients think it will start at, according to our grey market.