FTSE enjoys moment in the sun

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 40 points, as fears regarding a war in Syria ease and Vodafone gives the index a welcome lift.

It seems the west isn’t yet headed towards military action in Syria after all, as the House of Commons has voiced its doubts and President Obama has signalled that the world’s only superpower isn’t about to strike just yet. In London the news is all about Vodafone, as the telecoms giant leaps to a 12-year high. Together these news stories have provided a welcome dose of optimism, which is why we’re seeing the FTSE 100 tiptoe back in the direction of 6500. Yesterday’s close above 6400 suggests there is life in this uptrend yet.

Things really are looking good at Vodafone this morning, with the company's shares also seeing a substantial boost in volume. We knew earlier this year that we hadn’t heard the last of the Verizon-Vodafone saga, but it is far from certain that the two telecoms titans will come to an understanding this time around. Long-term holders of Vodafone won’t be complaining however, with speculation likely to drive the shares higher from here even following today’s leap.

Elsewhere, further troubles have become apparent at the Co-op Group, once again highlighting the hubris that prevails at the financial arm which only a short while ago was considering buying part of RBS’s high-street network.

Embattled traders will be looking to build on yesterday’s modest gains in the US, seizing the opportunity to lift stock indices while the tension over Syria remains at reduced levels. Those for whom US Federal Reserve tapering is all that matters will be keeping an eye on the personal consumption data this afternoon, which is one of the key gauges for policymakers at the Fed, while the latest revision of GDP data for the US will also be crucial for taper watchers.

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow to start 30 points higher at 14,855.

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