FTSE opens higher on Fed news and positive economic data emerges from China

<p>The FTSE opened up 4% to 6646, with European markets showing gains this morning after positive news. The gain was led by European banks, support […]</p>

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The FTSE opened up 4% to 6646, with European markets showing gains this morning after positive news. The gain was led by European banks, support from the Federal Reserve and encouraging manufacturing data from China.

Sentiment improved after the US Federal Reserve showed no signs of reducing the economic stimulus that has really supported prices for commodities. They released this late last night after a two-day meeting as investors waited patiently.

Growth in China is positive for the mining sector; this will provide a lot of confidence for traders as we should see Chinese markets on the rise.

On the home front London’s leading shares traded higher, led by strong results from Lloyds in particular. The bank rose 5% in the opening minutes on news that it had returned to profit in the first half of 2013, making 2.1 billion. On the downside Royal Dutch Shell reported an earnings fall in the second quarter. The company’s shares fell 4% in reaction to the news that it made £2.4 billion in the April to June period this year, against £6 billion in 2012.

Mining stocks were amongst the top gainers, with Randgold Resources adding 3% and Fresnillio up 2.6%. A busy day in the markets today, with a lot to work with. Investors will be waiting for the Bank of England’s decision today as Mark Carney is expected to outline the bank’s evolving mandate for forward guidance today at 12noon and then US non-farm payrolls will be out tomorrow afternoon at 1.30pm.

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