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After fighting a good fight the Syriza party has finally agreed to give in to some of its creditors’ demands, and this has given the green light to equity markets to move up a gear.
The Eurogroup meeting that is taking place today will be a friendlier affair now that Athens has agreed to make some concessions. Greece must make a number of repayments to the International Monetary Fund which are due early next month, and it looks like the nation is keeping its creditors onside for now at least. Greece has been surviving from deadline to deadline for the past five years, and this will be a blueprint of what to expect for the next five.
Pearson shares dipped this morning after a change-up in the boardroom will see its chairman step down next year. The company is best known as owner of the Financial Times, but it earns the vast majority of its revenue from the education business, and it has a particular interest in Brazil and China. The strong dollar has helped the company in the past year, but it will need to adapt to the evolving education environment where more of the learning is done online as its traditional textbooks are on the way out.
Reckitt Benckiser had a strong start to 2015 as its first-quarter revenue showed a modest rise and came in marginally ahead of estimates. The company will embark on ‘project supercharge’ this year, and this will entail restructuring its regional businesses into larger more manageable operations, with the benefits expected to be seen this time next year.
IG is offering a number of political markets on the UK general election, and the binary bet on who will be the next Prime Minister is indicating there is a 56.5% chance Ed Miliband will be in Downing Street next month. The binary market on which party will take the most seats is indicating the Conservatives will win 285 seats and the Labour party will take 272 seats.
In the US, we are expecting the Dow Jones to open 30 points higher, and the feel-good factor is down to Greece for a change.
The Eurogroup meeting is getting under way today, and even though there has been a lot of tough talk of out Athens, traders are optimistic about the outcome. On the tech front, the NASDAQ exceeded the dot.com high and went on to post a record level last night after Amazon and eBay impressed the market with their earnings. Google also traded higher despite missing its revenue estimate.