FTSE climbs towards 6500

Heading into the close the FTSE 100 is up 45 points and looks set to end the week around the 6500 level.

UK markets

The FTSE 100 is on track to finish flat on the week as positive growth levels from the UK and Germany signal to traders that the respective economies are slowly but surely gaining momentum. UK banks got off to a weak start after Moody’s put a number of US bank ratings under review, but traders were more impressed with an upward revision of UK GDP. Mineral extractors are in the black for a second day in a row as China’s manufacturing industry may be getting a second wind.

US markets

Across the pond, the Dow Jones is up 20 points at 14,984 as a slump in new home sales in July may fend off tapering for another few months. Traders know the Federal Reserve’s tapering clock is ticking and any soft economic data may buy the bulls more time. NASDAQ OMX Group is up 1% this afternoon as bargain hunters snap up the cheap stock after yesterday's technical glitch cost the company's share price 3%.

Commodities

Gold has rallied 1.5% in today's session as dealers fly to quality; the realisation that US QE will not last forever has set in and the precious metal is looking like a safe option. Copper is in demand after yesterday’s turnaround in China's manufacturing PMI, which swung from an 11-month low to a four-month high.

FX

The pound has given up its gains versus the US dollar after a brief spell in the black, on the back of the upward revision of UK GDP, while EUR/USD is higher after eurozone household confidence jumped to its highest level in over two years.

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