FTSE up as Crimea fears ease

Heading into the close the FTSE 100 is up 40 points as the Crimean question appears to have been answered.

UK banks buoyed by Crimea news 

Kiev may not like the agreement between Crimea and Russia but the British banks are higher as the possibility of a war seems less likely. 

UK reporting season continues with a raft of companies set to release their figures. The darling of online retail, ASOS, fell out of fashion with traders after the company boosted its spending plans to ensure future growth. The stock has had a terrific run, so traders used this announcement as an excuse to lock in profits; the move by ASOS is a short-term loss and a long-term gain.

Antofagasta tried to draw attention away from its decline in annual profits by ramping up its dividend, but traders saw through the smoke screen. Cairn Energy has put its share buyback scheme on hold, and the vultures are circling the Edinburgh-based oil and gas company. 

Alibaba is on track for a record-breaking IPO; on our grey market our clients are indicating a market capitalisation of $254 billion. IG clients also have an appetite for Just Eat, and our grey market is indicating a company valuation of £1.27 billion.

US traders focus on Fed meeting

In the US the Dow Jones is up 95 points at 16,340, as it appears the situation in Crimea is moving away from military intervention. The West may not like the move by the Kremlin but all the markets care about is avoiding a war. 

Traders are looking ahead to the Federal Reserve meeting tomorrow. The upbeat economic data has prompted traders to expect a tapering of $10 billion. 

Gold loses ground

Gold is in the red ahead of the Fed meeting tomorrow. The precious metal has lost ground during the past two trading sessions as the tensions in Crimea have cooled.

Aussie on the rise

The Australian dollar is above the $0.91 handle after the Reserve Bank of Australia stated it could keep rates on hold ‘for some time’. 

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