Miners cap FTSE gains

Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is up five points as the decline in mining stocks takes the wind out of its sails.

FTSE slips from 14-year high

The FTSE 100 has declined from its 14-year high as the euphoria was short lived. After traders digested weaker-than-expected data from China, the mining sector slipped into the red, which dragged the overall mood lower.

Ian Read of Pfizer tried to convince MP’s that he will not let the British pharmaceutical sector down by trimming research jobs if the company successfully takes over AstraZeneca. As MPs continue to quiz union leaders and Pfizer and AstraZeneca executives this afternoon, client activity on IG's binary bet regarding the outcome of the takeover bid suggests there is a 60% chance it will go ahead. 

Taylor Wimpey is leading the homebuilders higher by raising its forecast for 2015 and promising a special dividend this summer.

EasyJet is in the red after the low cost airline registered a first-half loss. The losses were expected as the airline is a fair-weather company.

Saga Group's IPO is expected on 23 May. A successful flotation would be the largest in the British insurance sector since the financial crisis. Client activity on IG's grey market suggests a market capitalisation of £2.6 billion.

European parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held on 22 May, with most of the results announced 25 May. IG is also operating a binary bet on the outcome of these elections, which is currently indicating that there is a 65% chance that UKIP will take a majority of the seats.

US markets still making gains

In the US, equity markets are continuing to register higher highs despite weaker-than-expected retail sales. I suspect traders are in the bad habit of viewing bad news as good news. As the US corporate reporting season is winding down investors are focusing on the Federal Reserves soft policy. 

Copper hit by profit-taking

Copper has been hit by a combination of profit-taking and poor figures from China. The softer-than-expected industrial production numbers from Beijing are further proof that the second largest economy in the world is slowing down. 

Euro knocked back

The euro has suffered two knocks today, the dreadful German ZEW figures dragged on the currency and then the Bundesbank suggested it would support the ECB’s easing policy.


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