Sentiment lifts as emerging-market fears recede

Heading into the close the FTSE 100 is up ten points, as stocks rebound.

A better day for UK stocks

In London, the FTSE 100 is set to close in positive territory for the first time in a week, as fears about emerging markets are on the wain. Banking stocks crawled back over the most ground, as traders picked up the pieces after the recent shakedown surrounding emerging economies. Investors are holding their breath ahead of tomorrow's interest-rate decisions from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank. No rate adjustments are anticipated, but there is talk of the ECB going down the stimulus route, as the eurozone is under threat from deflation. Stephen Hester has gone from the frying pan into the fire: he has been tasked with turning around the troubled insurer Royal & Sun Alliance.

US troubled by employment worries

In the US, the Dow Jones is off 74 points after softer-than-expected ADP employment figures didn't bode well for Friday's jobs report. In the past two months the Fed has tapered the stimulus package twice, and today’s weak ADP report would suggest the US central bank was too trigger-happy. Twitter is treading water ahead of its results after the closing bell tonight. Facebook’s strong figures have set the pace, and added to that the share price is up 150% from its IPO price of $26 in November.

Copper gains confidence

Copper has rebounded from a four-week low but, keeping in the mind the soft manufacturing numbers from China and the US this week, we could see another leg down.

Dollar in the doldrums

The US dollar is a mixed bag today, after having a good run on the back of the flight-to-quality factor.

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