Hopes of stimulus from both China and the EU have continued to bolster the courage of the 'risk-on' traders as they have once again driven the FTSE higher. The macro issues have hogged the limelight ahead of Alcoa once again kicking off the US reporting season next week.
ASOS, the darling of the online retail sector, has suffered from growing too fast too quickly, as first-half profits have dropped by 22% following the £68 million investment in infrastructure that the company needed. With new warehouse facilities in the UK, Berlin and Shanghai set to double the company’s capacity, and online monthly website visits up another 40% from last year, this could just be a blip on the firm’s mesmeric rise.
Just Eat looks set for a strong start to its stock exchange float as the placement is heavily oversubscribed; even so, IG’s grey market has seen a few sellers materialise over the day as expectations are of a 252p price, which looks increasingly likely.
ADP employment change figures came in just a whisker away from market expectations and might encourage Friday’s ever important non-farm employment change figures to come in close to expectations.
The IG grey market in Weibo, the latest technology-sector Asian stock to go down the IPO route, is now seeing more balanced two-way action, having benefited from a predominantly buyers-only market in the early stages. The client-driven market cap indication is now pointing towards a valuation of $9 billion.
The support at $106 that Brent crude has fallen back on on several occasions over the last six months has finally given way, and the last two trading days have seen over $3.50 wiped from the price.
NATO’s tough stance on Russia’s actions in taking over Crimea have added a fresh dimension to the stand-off, but, even with the White House openly discussing the possibility of sending war ships into the Black Sea, gold has failed to muster much support.
EUR/USD continues to flirt with the $1.38 level, less than 24 hours before the latest European Central Bank press conference where president Mario Draghi will be grilled about his plans to tackle the low inflation rate in the EU.
New tax laws, coupled with the hopes of fresh stimulus from China, have seen USD/JPY licked into action as the Japanese currency weakened to ¥103.72.