FTSE rises before Bernanke speech

In London, the equity market is in the black ahead of Ben Bernanke’s testimony before congress.

Stocks are up for the second day in a row after yesterday’s comments from Mr Bernanke, in which he stated that the US stimulus package will stay in place until the economy picks up.

Mr Bernanke will be testifying in front of Congress again today at 3pm (London time). Trading volumes have been low this morning as dealers want to hear what he has to say before they take any action. Traders are aware that the Fed will curtail their stimulus package in the long term, but if Mr Bernanke suggests it could remain unchanged until the end of the year we could see stocks move higher.

Looking at corporate updates, Anglo American announced a mixed production report for the second quarter of this year and revealed a drop in exploration spending. The share price is flat.

The London Stock Exchange announced a 39% increase in first quarter revenue; the stock is up nearly 6% on the day.

In the US, the Dow is up 35 points at 15,505 after a drop of 26,000 in jobless claims was announced. This was better than expected.

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