UK traders buy with cautious optimism

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 25 points as it seems increasingly likely that Ukraine and Russia will resolve the situation with bloodshed. 

City of London
Source: Bloomberg

In London, traders are buying back into the market with cautious optimism but they are keeping the eject button in sight; when it comes to the standoff in eastern Europe no news is good news. 

BHP Billiton performed worst today in the FTSE 100, with the mega-miner posting profits which narrowly missed estimates. The mineral extractor continues to cut loose non-core assets and there is no sign of a share buyback programme in the near future. 

Persimmon is proving that the UK property market is performing well. The homebuilder announced a 57% jump in first-half profits, while average selling price and the number of completions were both higher. 

Irish building materials supplier CRH is in the red despite rising earnings and lower net debt. It was surprising that its European business outperformed the Americas. 

Sterling sank after softer-than-expected CPI data from the UK. The pressure is off Mark Carney to increase interest rates, but traders are wondering; how long does the Bank of England need to keep interest rates rock bottom before the inflation target will be reached? 

In the US, index futures are in positive territory, and volatility is dropping as tensions ease in eastern Europe. We are calling the Dow Jones up 22 points at 16,860. 

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