Equity markets higher

The dual attractions of both the capital and income returns have ensured that equities have again returned to favour. 

Source: Bloomberg

After European Central Bank president Mario Draghi's heartfelt support of the eurozone last night we have an absence of eurozone data today, but with a lull in the almost constant Greek debt default horror stories, equity markets have been able to edge higher. Regardless of the lower targets set in the recent inflation report, and the tempered expectations of the Bank of England governor Mark Carney, sterling has continued to claw back ground against the dollar. This move has seen 1,200 pips added in a little over a month, and has many currency traders wondering when it will run out of steam.  

Everyone likes getting in a crafty beer on a Friday, and none more so than SABMiller who has taken that thinking one step further with the acquisition of Meantime Brewing Company. This acquisition will add to the company’s range of products, but unlike the failed Heineken bid it is unlikely to be enough to ensure that SABMiller itself couldn't one day be the target of an acquisition.

Bovis Homes has joined the growing list of UK house builders optimistically looking towards the rest of the year as it has decided to increase its full-year dividend payment by 14%.

Regardless of currency headwinds knocking 5% off its figures,  bottler Coca-Cola HBC has seen volumes increase by over 7%, helping the shares move almost 3% higher. 

Although widely agreed, the fact that Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen commented on how overvalued US equities were saw momentum momentarily halted. Only a few days later and the comparative attractions of equities in an uncompetitive beauty contest has seen the risk on trader mindset reappear.

This afternoon's University of Michigan consumer sentiment figures will show how badly the underlying US investor confidence has been knocked, but with the alternatives to equities offering so little in comparison equity indices were always likely to recover quickly.

Ahead of the open we expect the Dow Jones to start 34 points higher at 18,286.

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