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FTSE to see range-bound day

The FTSE has drifted higher in early trade, making a fresh attempt at the 6700 level; however, with equity markets in the US closed for Presidents' Day, and little on the macro calendar to offer fresh catalyst for upside, we may be looking at a range-bound day.

RSA Insurance Group has seen investor interest this morning, aided by a broker upgrade and news that the company is seeking potential buyers for one of its Canadian businesses. Given that the company is considering several ways to raise capital while avoiding a rights issue, this may mark the beginning of an extensive asset sale programme by the company. 

With precious metal prices finally finding a bounce to three-month highs, Polymetal International has become a regular fixture at the top of the UK benchmark, adding 3.35% in early trade. 

On the receiving end of a neutral rating from Citigroup today, Randgold Resources is also finding favour.

Investors in Serco continue to vote with their feet. The rudderless outsourcing group has had little in the way of luck these days, with the recent loss of their chief executive officer, the overhang of the electronic tagging scandal and fears of government contract losses all on the cards. The stock has lost 25% over the past three weeks.

The pound continues to march higher, reaching a five-year high on a trade weighted basis. This may provide something of an issue for the Bank of England as the strong pound will certainly challenge the export industry. 

Despite assurances that no interest rate hikes will take place until business investment and wage growth picks up, traders appear to be banking on monetary tightening sooner rather than later.

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