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October didn’t end particularly well, but November has started on a reasonably solid footing, with US and European exchanges putting on decent gains. London has lagged the pack, but it has done its best to claw its way out of the red as the session has gone on.
Banks have been broadly on the positive side of the equation, with RBS the top gainer in the index. Financial stocks enjoyed a boost thanks to some better numbers from Commerzbank and a modest contribution to sentiment courtesy of Greek bank stress tests, which were encouraging enough to hint at a general improvement in the Greek economy. After the crisis of the summer, it would be worrying indeed if things were still getting worse.
Miners have remained friendless throughout the day however, as China concerns reared their head again – it is too early to factor in the impact of the recent rate cut, but things need to pick up soon if we are to avoid another panic about Chinese growth before the year is out.
With earnings quietening down for the day, and the big numbers from the US economy set to be released later in the week, it is not surprising to see US indices struggling to make a decent showing so far today. The steady grind of big name earnings such as Facebook and the broad picture painted by PMIs and job numbers should provide more direction, and will be especially important given the renewed expectation that December may finally see a Federal Reserve rate increase.