Stocks markets got off to a good start this morning, as strong corporate earnings and positive economic indicators encouraged traders to buy. This was helped along by decisions from the Bank of England (BoE) and European Central Bank (ECB) to keep monetary policy unchanged. The improvement in eurozone unemployment and manufacturing is part of the reason that interest rates were not cut further.
In London the mining sector is at the top of the leaderboard, as higher commodity prices have boosted mining stocks. Strong profits from Lloyds Banking Group pushed up the price of other banking stocks, although the lender is still being haunted by the payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal.
Across the pond, we are expecting the Dow to open 100 points higher at 15,599. Last night, Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve stated the stimulus package will remain in place until the economy improves. The latest jobless claims reports showed us that the number of people claiming unemployment benefit dropped by 19,000, and this could be an indication of the unemployment rate that is due out tomorrow.