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Today’s speech by the head of the Bank of England (BoE) has underlined a willingness to be more flexible in terms of capital requirements if banks increase their lending. If the banks were to take full advantage of this, an extra £90 billion could be eased from their required holdings. This more generous stance from the BoE could also enable banks to benefit from increased profitability. Since these comments were made early in the afternoon trading session, both Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group have sneaked into the top five risers in the FTSE 100.
Following on from the collapse suffered by the markets yesterday, as western intervention in Syria looked increasingly likely, today stocks started in the red. However, there was a more measured, less panicked approach. US traders were able to view their pint glasses as half full, as opposed to the half-empty mentality of Europe, and this helped drag markets higher.
Over the next two days traders will be updated with a number of unemployment levels for the UK, EU and US. Normally this would be the driving force in the coming trading sessions, however it is difficult not to envisage traders being steered by developments in Syria.
After weeks of negative pressure, commodities have been given a new lease of life in the last couple of days. The raft of FTSE-quoted mining and commodity companies are beginning to show signs of life, albeit at a relatively sedate rate.