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Markets were already in the black this afternoon before statements from William Dudley and Jerome Powell pushed equity benchmarks even higher. Both members of the Federal Reserve were singing from the same hymn sheet, and although they mentioned tapering the bond-buying plan in the future, there will be no change to the policy for many months to come. The current rate of unemployment in the US is 7.6%, and Mr Dudley stated it would need to drop to 7% before any reduction in quantitative easing (QE) would be made. Investors had been feeling on edge, as they thought there could be tapering within a few months, but now they bought equities in the knowledge that QE will be kept in place for the foreseeable future.
In London, the mining sector is the best performing industry due to firmer commodity prices. Randgold Resources is up 1.7% as traders buy back into gold stocks after the recent slump in the precious metal.
In the US, the Dow is up 125 points at 15,035. US equities were boosted by stronger-than-expected pending homes sales for the month of May.