FTSE up as Barclays stagger bad news

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 50 points as all eyes are on the new Federal Reserve chair Janet Yelle's first testimony before Congress this afternoonn.

Traders are pricing in Ms Yellen’s dovish outlook, as she is likely to keep the stimulus package unchanged for the foreseeable future. Ben Bernanke finished his chairmanship on a high note, managing to bring down unemployment and reduce the bond-buying scheme, but Ms Yellen is tipped to toe the line for the next few months.

Barclays tried to stagger the bad news by unexpectedly revealing its headline figure yesterday, but announcing jobs cuts and increasing the bonus pool has backfired on the bank's share price. 

Mega miner Glencore Xstrata reported a 26% increase in copper production, but the jump in output still isn’t enough to offset the soft copper price. 

Thomas Cook has registered a quarterly loss as political uncertainty in Egypt is playing havoc with its bookings.  

In the US we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 60 points higher at 15,861 as Ms Yellen takes over the reins of the Fed. 

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