Chinese data boosts European equities

European equity markets got off to a surprisingly brisk start this morning, and a dearth of economic data should ensure a positive mood at least until the US markets open.

Following a hot and sunny weekend where it appears that almost all of Europe finally started summer, there is a visibly upbeat mood on the trading floor. Although this might not be enough to turn bears into bulls, it does make it easier for the average trader to view their pint glass as being half full. Traders will be watching to see if the FTSE can recapture Thursday's charge and regain that 6600 handle.

As last week progressed there was growing concern that this morning’s Chinese GDP figures were going to fall short of the mark, and this pessimism had been added to by some less-than-encouraging comments from Chinese officials. This has led to the fact that they actually met expectations being taken a little more positively than it might otherwise have been.

This afternoon will see the start of the second week in the US reporting season, where traditionally the number of firms reporting steps up a gear. The company of key interest today will be Citigroup, to see if it can maintain the good start that both JP Morgan and Wells Fargo kicked off on Friday.

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