Earnings boost indices

Global equity markets are higher this afternoon, as a mixture of corporate earnings and economic news have raised investor confidence.

In London, the banking sector is leading the way, up nearly 2% after Morgan Stanley reported stronger-than-expected figures.

The US financial giant announced an increase in second-quarter profits of 42%, and revealed a $500 million share buyback programme. The stock is now up 5%. The company’s news has boosted banking stocks this side of the Atlantic.

Natural resources stocks are also in the black as commodity prices are higher. British retail stocks welcomed the news that UK retail sales rose by 0.2% in June compared with the previous month. Some economists stated that good weather would have boosted consumer confidence.

Across the pond, US equities are at an all-time high, as positive economic data lifted investor confidence.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit dropped and the Philadelphia Federal Index manufacturing level came in much higher than expectations.

The world’s largest money manager, Black Rock, reported a 32% rise in second-quarter profits, citing increased investor deposits for the rise in profits. The stock is up 2%. 

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