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An optimistic afternoon for UK markets

Going into the close, the FTSE 100 is flat and heading for a finish around the 6836 mark.

UK growth confirmed

In London, equities are in positive territory after strong retail reporting from SAB Miller and Unilever confirmed the IMF’s view that UK growth is on the up. Even a survey of asset managers, conducted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, showed that global optimism is contagious. Banking stocks bounded back after the financial sector was dragged lower by Deutsche Bank’s shock announcement of a quarterly loss. Minerals extractors are trying their best to pull the market into the red as metal prices take a dive.

Taper worries hamper US markets

In the US, the Dow Jones is down 50 points at 16,409 after Jon Hilsenrath of the Wall Street Journal warned that the Fed may continue tapering before the month is out. The prospect of additional tapering has spooked the markets as traders settle in after the public holiday yesterday. US reporting season is now in full swing, and Johnson & Johnson and Verizon both exceeded analysts’ expectations, but it is like swimming against the tide as traders' fears of tapering overwhelm the markets.

Gold back in decline

Gold has dropped over 1% as a result of dealers locking in their profits from the precious metal's six-week high.

Aussie hit by PBoC move

The Australian dollar has lost ground after the Chinese central bank had to make additional cash injections yesterday. Traders are looking ahead to the Australian inflation data overnight.

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