Corporate earnings lift FTSE 100 by 0.7%

<p>Stronger than expected earnings from oil firms BP and BG Group have lifted the FTSE 100 as much as 0.8% this morning, whilst the weaker […]</p>

Stronger than expected earnings from oil firms BP and BG Group have lifted the FTSE 100 as much as 0.8% this morning, whilst the weaker dollar has also pushed key mining stocks into positive territory.

However, trading is likely to remain choppy into the close with much of the market having one eye on the meeting of the Federal Reserve that begins later today and concludes tomorrow after European Markets close.

The results from BP and BG Group are forcing investors out of their shells a bit today when otherwise they would have sat on the sidelines waiting for the move from the Fed tomorrow night. Most of the FTSE 100 gains have come from 2% rises in the share prices of BG and BP, whilst strong gains in mining firms such as Kazakhmys and Antofagasta have supplemented Index gains.

Aviva shares have also charged higher today with shareholders happy to see the insurance firm report sales in line with market expectations. Traders have also reacted positively to the fact that the firm said it was in line for strong profitable growth this year. Shares rallied on the back of the report, pushing as high as 406.9p in trading.

On the downside, Lloyds Banking Group shares have slumped as much as 2% after the bank announced that the level of impairments will only fall marginally in the second half of the year.

British Construction Activity slows in October
British construction activity slowed more aggressively than expected last month, sending a potential warning sign to UK growth for the fourth quarter.  British Construction Activity fell to 51.6 last month, when the market was expecting a more moderate fall to 53.0 from Septembers growth of 53.8.

Considering how prominent growth in construction played in the recent better than expected first reading of UK growth in the third quarter, this could be seen as a bit of a warning sign towards how GDP could fare in the fourth quarter.

In reaction to the British Contruction number, we saw traders reduce their long positions in the pound sterling, which subsequently fell against the US Dollar and Euro by as much as 30 pips.

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