Chinese data lifts mining stocks

In mid-morning trading, the FTSE 100 is 20 points higher as recent worries about the Chinese economy were dismissed, allowing miners to recover their footing.

The FTSE’s best exertions this morning have carried it to within less than half a percent of the magic 6900 level, but once again the initial upward momentum has stalled.

Manufacturing data over the weekend from China has provided a rationale for buyers to push up mining stocks once again, after Friday saw them fall back, with Rio Tinto and Anglo American at the head of the pack. Traders have become acutely aware that every failure to break 6900 leaves the index more and more vulnerable to another drop towards 6700.

Activity in the FX markets was enlivened by downward revisions to some eurozone PMI data, but the tiny uplift to French figures could not stop the euro dropping back towards last week’s lows versus the US dollar. 

US futures are up once again, as Wall Street continues to lead the global equity market. May proved to be a much brighter month than many had thought, but the momentum is likely to run out of steam ahead of the crucial European Central Bank meeting on Thursday, which is swiftly followed by non-farm payrolls on Friday. The crunch point for the current rally is rapidly approaching, and if Mario Draghi fails to strike the right note equity markets could look very vulnerable indeed.

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