Mining sector boosts FTSE as gold rebounds

Following a data-heavy day yesterday, investors still seem a little unsure about the overall direction of risk assets, with the FTSE 100 unable to establish a decent foothold above the 6300 level.

The mining sector is keeping the UK benchmark in positive territory as gold continues to rebound from its worst quarterly slump since modern day trading began. Evraz is up by 3.4%, while Antofagasta has added 2.16%. Burberry, which slumped over 18% in June, is back in vogue today following a broker upgrade. With a target price of 1530p from HSBC, it has gained 3.26% in early trade. Given how dependent the stock has been on emerging markets, any continued slowing in China could well weigh on the price in the medium term.

The sun seems to be shining on the UK economy recently as construction output remains above the key 50 metric expansion territory, printing 51.0 and just failing to meet the consensus expectation of 51.3. With little macro releases on the calendar, key data to watch from the US later today will be the month-on- month factory orders. Forecasts are for a 2% rise in May, which would double the gain seen in April. As market angst revolves around decent growth fundamentals being the driver for Fed tapering, it will be interesting to note how markets will react should the number beat expectations.

No less than two Federal Reserve members will speak at various events today. Given recent form, clarity and consistency are not expected in terms of language or outlook. One can certainly expect choppiness both in the bond and equity markets as remarks make their way over the financial wires. Ahead of the open, we are expecting the Dow to open up 15 points at 14,990.

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