FTSE 100 finishes on a high

European equity markets ended the day on a positive note as strong economic data boosted confidence.

Lloyds Banking Group is up 2.7% today as the uncertainty surrounding Syria may postpone the UK government’s plans to dispose of its 39% stake in the indebted bank.

This afternoon's US ADP employment and jobless claims figures indicate that the US labour market is improving, and traders are now looking ahead to tomorrow's non-farm payrolls and unemployment reports.

The Federal Reserve’s stimulus package appears to be paying off as the US economy gains momentum. However, a better-than-expected payrolls number could trigger a sell-off in indices, as it would increase investors' tapering concerns.

Louisiana-Pacific is to acquire Ainsworth Lumber for $1.1 billion – the takeover will expand Louisiana-Pacific’s operations in Asia, and the share price is up 10%.

Better-than-expected ISM non-manufacturing figures raised confidence in the US, and the Dow Jones is up ten points at 14,940 midway through the US trading day.

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