Strong earnings lift FTSE and European indices

With the earnings season in full swing strong profits have been coming in thick and fast, helping to lift the FTSE and its European peers this morning. In London, Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton lead the market higher after it reported increased production of copper and iron ore.

With the earnings season in full swing strong profits have been coming in thick and fast, helping to lift the FTSE and its European peers this morning. In London, Anglo-Australian mining giant BHP Billiton lead the market higher after it reported increased production of copper and iron ore. 

BHP Billiton’s increase in output is indicative of the wider mining industry as seen with Rio Tinto and Brazilian firm Vale, both of which in the last two days reported a surge in their shipments of iron ore, the raw material for making steel. 

High demand for copper and iron ore can be taken as a signal of good global GDP growth as construction tends to flourish only when countries are doing well economically.

EasyJet flying high

Airlines also rallied this morning with shares in budget airline easyJet rising 2.96% after the company said that its third-quarter revenue increased despite the fact that it had to cancel a large number of flights in June. 

The firm’s per seat revenue for the quarter increased by 4.8% helped by the collapse of its competitor Monarch last year which left behind unfilled capacity – something that was keenly felt in May when the amount of travel increased because of a number of holidays. 

However, its peer Ryanair may be in for a rough ride this week as the company’s pilots plan to stage a strike this weekend, the busiest travel weekend of the year as schools break off for summer holidays.

Brent crude plunges 1%

The oil market had some mixed signals this week, first with Libya planning on increasing production and then Norwegian workers walking away from the North Sea oil fields over a wage and pension dispute.  

The Norwegian strike has not led to a production cut yet and now traders are focusing again on supply issues – renewed Libyan supplies, the planned increases form Russia and OPEC and the surprise build up in US crude inventories reported by the American Petroleum Institute Tuesday. 

Consequently oil prices are heading down fast this morning with Brent crude trading nearly 1% lower and the WTI down 0.73%.

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