FTSE eyes best week in six months

Against a backdrop of broadly negative economic data, the FTSE 100 is on course to have its best weekly move in almost six months.

Asda store
Source: Bloomberg

Considering how well European equity markets have behaved this week as a steady flow of disappointing European economic data has been released, it is maybe almost disappointing that there will be an absence of bad news today, with only UK GDP figures due for release. Going into the week a number of major equity markets were looking oversold, but even so the return of 'bad news is good news' has taken some market watchers by surprise.

Markets have responded well to BHP Billiton’s musings over stripping out a number of its operations and giving them their own quote to trade under. The prospect of a more focused and streamlined company has seen shares climb by some 2.5% in early trading today.

Asda’s parent company Wal-Mart posted figures last night and although not 'sexy' they have still helped to inspire both Sainsbury's and Tesco shares into moves higher.     

When talking about Wall Street, conversations are no longer being focused on how low it can go but what time frame is required in order to challenge levels beyond 17,000 once more. Benefiting from a lack of direct business and energy exposure to Russia has enabled US traders to again focus within, rather than worry about European issues. 

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