Bullish US close boosts FTSE

The FTSE has again started the day in a positive mood and just over an hour in, it is up a healthy 37 points. 

New York Stock Exchange
Source: Bloomberg

The short week will see a surplus of economic data releases today than would otherwise be the case, with final quarterly GDP figures for both the UK and the US, along with US durable goods orders and Michigan confidence figures all expected.

It is another day of voting in Athens as President Samaras struggles to maintain political control, and failure to reach a consensus would bring a February general election one step closer.

A snapshot of the FTSE big movers after 30 minutes of trading saw Tesco sitting at the top of the tree, although considering its indiscretions of late it is hard to view it as much of an angel.

BP, Shell and other oil companies continue to be subjected to market jitters as Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi once again voiced his commitment to maintaining market share. Oil traders hoping for a change of tact look unlikely to get their wish; if anything an increase in supply looks more likely. 

Thorntons has seen the chocolate market melt in the balmy winter months and has been forced to issue a profits warning. Although the UK’s appetite for chocolate looks as healthy as ever the frugal  mentality has seen many take their business to the cheaper supermarket alternatives. 

Another bullish session from US markets yesterday has kept the momentum in place, with the S&P 500 closing at an all-time high and the Dow Jones roughly 40 points away from the 18,000 level. The Dow has added almost 900 points from intraday lows just over a week ago and continues to set the pace.

Trading volumes are understandably lower given the time of year, but the increased risk of market volatility has only encouraged the bulls back into action as the bears look to have settled into the winter hibernation already. Ahead of the open we expect the Dow to start 16 points lower at 17,943.

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