US earnings season off to strong start

In London, equity markets are in the black after Alcoa kicked off the US earnings season last night.

Traders are bullish this morning as Alcoa posted stronger-than-expected results after the closing bell in New York last night. The aluminium producer is usually the first big company to reveal its quarterly figures for the US reporting period. London's mining sector is performing well, after Alcoa managed to top analyst’s estimates despite weaker metal prices over the past few months. The sector is currently up 2.5%.

Greece was awarded the next instalment of its bailout package; the €4.8 billion tranche will prevent the Athens administration from going bankrupt. Traders responded well, and UK banks are higher today as it bodes well for the financial sector across Europe.

The UK revealed a 0.8% decline in manufacturing in May compared with April. There was a muted reaction to the report, however, as a negative economic announcement may increase the likelihood of additional quantitative easing from the Bank of England.

An estimate of the previous quarter's US GDP is released at 3pm (London time), where a weak reading could mean that the US Federal Reserve might maintain its stimulus package, and this could be expected to boost equities. 

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