City sources predict the FTSE 100 will open up 25 points from yesterday's close of 5,573, tracking gains in the US which saw markets rise for a third consecutive session, with the Dow Jones adding more than 200 points on one day.
The huge leaps followed comments by the head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, who said that he was 'prepared to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro'.
Linked to the above, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal European Central Bank policy maker Christian Noyer seems to reiterate Draghi“s stance from yesterday.
Perhaps weighing on sentiment a tad, shares of Facebook fell 10% overnight following its latest results.
Several high frequency indicators are slated for release this afternoon Stateside (1st GDP estimate, personal income and spending and U.Michigan consumer sentiment) from 13:30 onwards.
The euro is little changed while periphery bond prices are moving modestly higher. Nevertheless, Greek leaders have yet to identify how to achieve some of the fiscal savings being asked of them by the Troika, according to various market reports.
Back on the home front, a Reuters poll of 60 economists and bond strategists yesterday found that the consensus estimate now puts the chances of the United Kingdom losing its AAA status, in the next 12 months, at 35% versus 25% before.
A contrite Marcus Agius, Chairman of under-fire bank Barclays, apologised for the company's involvement in the LIBOR fixing scandal as he unveiled half-year profits ahead of market expectations. Adjusted profit before tax in the first half of 2012 rose 13% to £4,227m from £3,725m in the first half of 2011, versus market expectations of £3,958m. However, statutory profit before tax crashed 71% to £759m from £2,644m the year before, as the company wrote down the value of its own credit by £2,945m.
Glencore International, the giant producer and marketer of commodities, has been given the all-clear by Australian authorities for the acquisition of Canadian agricultural grain handler Viterra. Glencore, which offered C$16.25 per share for the group in March, equal to C$6.1bn (£3.9bn) in total, received notice on Thursday from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) that its acquisition has been approved, completing the necessary Australian regulatory approvals.
Operating profit at Pearson came in a little shy of some expectations as the publishing group admitted that the first half of 2012 had been a little tougher than expected for some parts of the business. Adjusted operating profit fell by a tenth to £188m from £208m in the first half of 2011. Broker Charles Stanley had forecast operating profit of £195m.
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NETbuilder and Interactive Data.
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