Stocks pushed higher by US GDP

In London the equity benchmark finished up nearly 1% after strong-than-expected growth figures from the US.

Traders have welcomed the news that the US economy grew by 2.5% in the second quarter of the year, when analysts were expecting a reading of 2.2%, rising from 1.7% in the first quarter. The US has revealed a string of positive announcements over the past few weeks, confirming that its economy is continuing to grow.

One of these is that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit dropped by 6000, a figure broadly in line with expectations, making jobless claims figures near a six-year low. The announcement did not seem to cause traders to fear tapering of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus package as one might have suspected; instead good economic data seems to be good news for the equity markets.

Oil stocks finished lower today as the price of the underlying commodity declined after touching a two-year high due to the political uncertainty surrounding Syria.

The banking sector finished higher as traders are less concerned about the financial situation in the eurozone after the Italian government held a successful bond auction.

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