Festive feeling descends on markets

In mid-morning trading, the FTSE 100 is 50 points higher, as markets look to start the week on a strong note. 

Federal Reserve
Source: Bloomberg

A quiet day for markets, with little economic data or company news to speak of, leaves investors without much direction for the time being.

With Wednesday’s potentially momentous Federal Reserve meeting now squarely in everyone’s sights, most will take the opportunity to sit and await developments.

Lighter volumes have allowed markets in the UK and Europe to rally impressively so far this morning, with some kind of bounce overdue given the magnitude of the losses last week.

Buyers are reasonably confident that they have timing on their side, given that a ‘Santa rally’ should start to kick in from this point.

However, Wednesday’s meeting is still a big hurdle to clear, and as a result really bullish  momentum will probably wait until Thursday, at which point everyone will start looking forward to Christmas itself.

Supermarkets are some of the main risers this morning, as investors look to pick up some bargains ahead of the big festive shopping push, while Old Mutual has performed a swift about-turn following fresh changes in the South African government.

Aside from a speech from European Central Bank president Mario Draghi, the afternoon looks relatively clear. US indices have not been so badly affected by the recent market rout, and futures are already pushing higher.

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow Jones to start at 17,366, up 100 points from Friday’s close.

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