FTSE up as protests in Hong Kong fade

Heading into the close the FTSE 100 is up 40 points at 6569 as the situation in Hong Kong cools off. 

Protesters and police in the streets of Hong Kong
Source: Bloomberg

Markets calmer after the Hong Kong protests

In London calm has been restored to the markets as the protests in Hong Kong peter out. Mining companies are benefitting on both sides, and increased stability in China is crucial for the natural resources sector with higher metal prices being the icing on the cake.

easyJet is still gliding from Friday’s uplifting full-year forecast and British Airways’s owner International Consolidated Airlines Group is trading at 371p. It is up 1.5% on the day as speculation grows that the airline could be shaping up to pay a dividend. The supermarket sweep is on — UK food retailers are back in favour with traders as the dust has settled for now. 

Dow up 24 points

In the US, the Dow Jones is trading at 17,034, up 24 points on the day the non-farm payrolls report put the hawk amongst the doves.

Hewlett Packard is up nearly 5% as it is thinking of breaking into two distinctive companies. Traders have reacted well to the news, which tells us that dividing up the CD collection and going separate ways isn’t the worst idea. 

Gold targets $1200

The soft dollar has been comforting to commodity traders. The gains made by gold and copper are minimal when stacked up against the losses they incurred in the past few weeks.

Gold is eyeing the $1200 mark but Friday’s jobs report brought us that much closer to the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates.

Oil, or ‘black gold’ as it is often is referred to, is as popular as gold nowadays, while speculation of oversupply and the rise of shale gas drives the energy lower. 

Pound crosses $1.60 level

The dollar bull run is taking a breather while the euro and pound manage to gain ground against the greenback as traders bank profits on the dollar’s recent strength. Traders ignored the ailing investors’ confidence from the eurozone and bottom-picked the single currency. This is a relief rally before the next leg down.

Meanwhile, the pound has finally crossed the $1.60 mark. Sterling has struggled with the psychological level and I suspect the dollar will make a recovery sooner rather than later. 

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