FTSE 100 to open higher ahead of GDP data for August

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UK equities are set to open higher ahead of the release at 7.00pm of gross domestic product (GDP) data.


Spread betting quotes point to the FTSE 100 adding 18 points to yesterday’s gains to open at around 5,996.


US markets had a good day yesterday after it appeared that talks on an economic stimulus package were back on the agenda.


“The Democrats appear to have called President Trump’s bluff on his standard negotiating tactic of abruptly ending talks to gain concessions from the other side. The House Democrats, while open to some direct bailouts of the airlines, have held their ground and tied more stimulus directly to a larger package, rather than a cherry-picking vote-winning approach favoured by the President. President Trump himself appeared to backtrack on a stimulus package as well if it is ‘skinny’,” said Jeffrey Halley at OANDA.


According to Nordic investment bank, Danske Bank, however, “, it seems we are in the same place as in July with no deal in sight near term, unless the White House is willing to listen to the Democrats’ demands”.


The Dow Jones rose 122 points to finish at 28,426 while the broader-based S&P 500 climbed 27 points to 3,447.


“Overnight, the Caixin survey of Chinese services for September came in at 54.8 – the highest level in three months. The consensus estimate was 54.5, and the August reading was 54,” reported CMC’s David Madden.


The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 3 points at 24,190 while elsewhere in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 78 points at 23,564.


Back in the sceptred isle, in less than half an hour the GDP figures will be released, with economics expecting the UK economy to have grown by 4.6% in August, after expanding by 6.6% in July.


On the corporate front, bus, coach and tram operator Stagecoach (LON:SGC), which dropped out of the FTSE 250 back in the summer, will be putting out an update on trading since its early May year-end, having suffered from the lack of traffic amid the coronavirus but been propped up by the government.


Analysts at RBC Capital Markets said there was a lack of positive catalysts in the near-term and wondered “if the family could take it private given the (low) share price”.


Around the markets


  • Sterling: US$1.2953, up 0.14 cents
  • 10-year gilt: yielding 0.289%, down 1.53 basis points
  • Gold: US$1,915.60 an ounce, up US$20.50
  • Brent crude: US$43.23 a barrel, down 11 cents
  • Bitcon: US$10,893, down US$1

6.45 am: Early Markets: Asia / Australia


Stocks in mainland China jumped after returning to trade today from holidays with the Shanghai composite surging 1.67%.


The market opened with the news of a positive survey which confirmed services sector activity in China expanding in September.


Data from the Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index for September came in at 54.8. PMI readings above 50 signify expansion, while those below that level indicate contraction.


Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 and Hong Kong’ Hang Seng index remained near the flat line while in Japan, the Nikkei 225 dipped 0.29%.


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Proactive Australia news:


Red River Resources Limited (ASX:RVR) has hit a 12-month high after setting another new quarterly copper production record at the Thalanga Operation in Northern Queensland during the September quarter.


K2fly Ltd (ASX:K2F) has raised invoices totalling $1.64 million in the first quarter of FY21, marking a 15% improvement over the equivalent quarter of the previous financial year.


Anteris Technologies Ltd’s (ASX:AVR) early results from the first-in-human study of its proprietary DurAVR(TM) aortic valve have found that patient outcomes exceeded the results of what is normally expected following a Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement (SAVR).


Core Lithium Ltd’s (ASX:CXO) early reconnaissance exploration work has discovered visible gold at surface at the new Pickled Parrot Prospect (PPP) within Bynoe Gold Project in the Northern Territory.


Ora Banda Mining Ltd (ASX:OBM) has boosted overall Davyhurst Gold Project resources to 2.17 million ounces following a maiden resource estimate of 43,000 ounces at Riverina South project.


Boadicea Resources Ltd (ASX:BOA) investors have responded strongly to news of the payment of an 8-cent unfranked dividend with shares hitting a new five-year high.


Creso Pharma Ltd’s (ASX:CPH) (FRA:1X8) wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary Mernova Medicinal Inc has received and delivered a second purchase order valued at C$138,960 from the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation (NSLC).


Infinity Lithium Corporation Ltd’s (ASX:INF) flagship San Jose Lithium Project in Spain remains well-positioned to fulfil a critical role in the EU’s lithium-ion battery supply chain against a backdrop centred on the EU Green Deal, a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050 and an economy reliant on renewable energies.


PolarX Ltd (ASX:PXX) continues to grow the Zackly East prospect within its Alaska Range Project in the US state of Alaska with drilling returning more wide, locally high-grade intersections of gold and copper.

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