FTSE to finish week on record high

Renewed confidence in the banking sector has pushed the FTSE 100 towards a record high. 

FTSE up 20 points 

Royal Bank of Scotland has grabbed the bull by the horns and announced job losses of 30,000, mostly in its investment banking and overseas divisions; the bailed-out bank is making a major effort to get back to basics. 

HSBC will reveal its figures on Monday. Profits in its Latin American business have previously been hit, and I would imagine the collapse in the Argentine Peso has not helped. 

Vodafone shareholders are in a win-win position; the pay-out from the Verizon deal will come in the form of a dividend and Verizon shares. What is left of Vodafone could become a takeover target. 

Dow approaches one-month-low

In the US, the Dow Jones is up 18 points at 16,151. Traders were rattled by the weak existing home sales, coupled with yesterday’s dreadful Philadelphia Federal Reserve index report; all may not be well in the US, which justifies Yellen’s dovish stance. 

The Volatility index is near a one-month-low, as the panic-selling surrounding emerging market economies has subsided for the time being. I don’t think we have heard the last from the emerging markets; any blip in the peso or the rand will send stocks sliding. 

Copper bounces back

copper has rebounded from the sell-off on the back of the poor HSBC Chinese manufacturing figures yesterday. The official Beijing figures will be out next weekend and I think it will fall into contraction territory. 

Aussie awaits economic data

The Australian dollar has dipped below the $0.9 mark ahead of the raft of economic data from Australia next week. We already had disappointing figures from China during the week, and I think we will head towards the recent low of $0.87. 

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