FTSE up as tensions cool in Ukraine

In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 80 points as confidence in equity markets has been restored now the stand off between Ukraine and Russia is no longer on red alert. 

The prospect of war is dwindling as Russian troops have been recalled to their bases – but we are not out of the woods yet. The drop in equity markets yesterday, and correction back today, highlights how volatile an issue this is. We may have pulled back most of yesterday’s losses but the rally is fragile. 

Glencore Xstrata swung to a loss after the mega miner wrote off $7.5 billion in relation to the acquisition of Xstrata, but traders are viewing the loss as part of teething problems from the buyout. The group revealed a robust jump in earnings and the sale of the copper mine in Peru is still ongoing. 

Ashtead shares have jumped 8% as demand for plant and machinery continues to grow in the UK and US. The company is on the acquisition trail which suggests self-confidence. 

In the US we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 107 points higher at 16,275 as markets rebound from yesterday’s collapse.

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