Stocks rise ahead of Esther George statement

Equity markets are higher this afternoon as traders await this evening’s statement from US Federal Reserve member Esther George.

Traders have been buying into the equity market even though Ms George holds a hawkish outlook and is more likely to favour tapering of the US’ quantitative easing scheme. Comments yesterday from US central bankers left traders unsure which way the next Fed meeting will go, but should tonight’s (6pm UK time) comments from Ms George be viewed as hawkish, they could prompt a sell-off.

The UK’s mining sector is off 0.5% as commodity prices are weaker today, and it’s currently the worst performing sector on the London market.

There was mixed news for the eurozone today, after the German IFO business climate ticked up in September but still came in below consensus expectations. Investors are still waiting to hear from Berlin with regard to the country’s new government setup, with the new administration sure to have a large influence on the eurozone.

The Dow Jones is down 30 points at 15,371, with sentiment taking a knock following September’s consumer confidence report which dipped from 81.8 last month to 79.7 in September.

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