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Mining is the sector that has the biggest impact on the FTSE 100, and mineral stocks are in demand as a result of speculation that China is undergoing a stimulus package. Over the weekend, a number of state-controlled Chinese banks lent money to financial institutions in Shanghai in an effort to improve interbank liquidity; many people are viewing this as a backdoor stimulus scheme. Dealers bought mining stocks on the back of this, as it could increase China’s demand for metals such as iron ore.
The German market is the best performer of all the eurozone indices. The DAX is up 0.75% after the ZEW economic sentiment survey jumped from 36.3 in July to 42 in August. Economists were expecting a reading of only 40.3.
Resolution is up 1% after the insurance company announced a 17% jump in first-half pre-tax profits. Meanwhile, Old Mutual was downgraded from ‘buy’ to ‘neutral’ by Nomura, and its share price is down 2.7%.
Across the pond, we are expecting the Dow to open 40 points higher at 15,459. US retail sales rose by 0.2% in July, in line with expectations.