Equities finish the week with a flourish

Having had a night to think about things, traders have decided to factor in the positives from yesterday’s ECB meeting, sending shares higher.

London Stock Exchange sign
Source: Bloomberg

Equity markets have done their best to ensure traders head into the weekend with a smile on their faces. Any lingering fears which may have been a hangover from yesterday’s sell-off have quickly been forgotten. Traders have pushed European indices higher, both the DAX and CAC are up by over 3% – a far cry from yesterday’s performance.

Although it’s too early for any of the extra monthly €20 billion quantitative easing to be working its way into the market, but traders have already begun to factor in the benefits that will undoubtedly be felt in the future. The cherry on the cake being the ability of the European Central Bank to acquire positons in European corporate debt – an even more direct route into boosting business in the eurozone.

US markets might not have fully taken on board the optimism of European equities today but the Dow Jones and S&P 500 are in positive territory for the week and continue to head higher into the weekend. Two weeks ahead of the UK, the Americans will be changing their clocks to summer time. This means the next couple of weeks will see the US open happening at 1.30pm UK time, before we also change to summer time too.

Oil prices continue to defy logic as Brent crude and US light trade either side of the $40 level. For the time, being the markets are still undecided on how able WTI is to continue heading higher and only a break above $42 would offer a more convincing argument.

The gold price has suffered as the day has worn on, unable to threaten the $1284 level it hit in overnight trading. It has once again settled on a pattern of Asian market hours’ strength and weakness during the US trading session. 

FTSE risers and fallers (as of 4.15pm)

Company % change Index points
British American Tobacco +2.28 +6.61
Aviva +6.38 +4.69
HSBC Holdings +1.37 +4.64
Royal Dutch Shell A +1.71 +4.59
Royal Dutch Shell B +1.86 +4.45

 

Company % change Index points
Marks & Spencer Group -2.24 -0.58
Old Mutual -1.62 -0.57
Randgold Resources Ltd -1.02 -0.23
Shire -0.13 -0.11
Schroders -0.67 -0.08

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