FTSE 100 set make a positive start to the new trading week though inflation worries continue to ling

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The FTSE 100 is expected to get off to a tentative but positive start, mirroring the performances of Asia’s main stock markets, which continue to be haunted by fears of a US inflationary spike.

Consumer consumption and price data later this week will possibly decide whether America’s Federal Reserve begins tapering the ultra-accommodative monetary policy that has supported equity markets.

With a raft of Fed speakers slated to speak this week, including influential board governor, Lael Brainard, we should get some colour on the central bank’s direction of travel ahead of Friday’s data.

Elsewhere, the volatility of Bitcoin, down a further 5.1%, has resulted in a surge in demand for gold, which hit a four-month high of just shy of US$1,900 an ounce before edging back slightly.

Red hot commodity prices continued to cool as China complained about the ‘speculative excesses’ driving them higher.

“Given that China is a large net importer of ores, there is a limit to what they will be able to achieve in the medium to long term,” said Jeffrey Halley, markets analyst at OANDA.

“However, in the short-term, their rumblings seem to be having the desired effect.”

Looking ahead, we’ll get a better insight on the state of the retail sector with updates from Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS), a stalwart of the high street, Shaftesbury (LON:SHB), owner of large tracts of Covent Garden and Soho, and Pets at Home (LON:PETS), which is making a success of its hybrid clicks-and-bricks business model.

Also reporting are the insurer Aviva (LON:AV.), SSE (LON:SSE), the energy group, and platinum specialist Johnson Matthey (LON:JMAT).

Around the markets

  • Pound US$1.4155 (flat)
  • Bitcoin US$35,037.05 (-5.1%)
  • Gold US$1,887.40 (+0.45%)
  • Brent crude US$66.81 (+0.56%)

6.50am: Early Markets – Asia / Australia

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Monday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 in the US posted their fourth and second consecutive negative week of losses last week.

The Shanghai Composite in China gained 0.18% but  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.24%

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.25% while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.37%.

Shares in Australia rose, with the S&P/ASX 200 trading 0.16% higher.

Proactive Australia news:

Tamboran Resources Ltd is well on track to raise A$66 million in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) with firm commitments received from existing shareholders and new investors for A$60 million.

Chimeric Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:CHM) has initiated the treatment of the first patient in the second dose cohort in City of Hope’s Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating the safety and tolerability of its chlorotoxin CAR T (CLTX CAR T) cell therapy.

Australian Potash Ltd (ASX:APC) has received firm commitments from global institutional, professional and sophisticated investors for a $10 million placement at 14 cents per share.

Salt Lake Potash Ltd (ASX:SO4) (LON:SO4) (OTCMKTS:WHELF) (FRA:W1D) has received binding commitments to raise A$28 million via a share placement to institutional shareholders, sophisticated investors and directors at 35 cents per share.

Oklo Resource Ltd (ASX:OKU) (FRA:JYA) has received highly encouraging results from first pass, shallow aircore drilling at Sari Project, just 10 kilometres east of the recently reported Seko mineral resource within the flagship Dandoko Gold Project in Mali.

Meteoric Resources NL’s (ASX:MEI) (FRA:RNF) 2021 drilling program at Palm Springs Gold Project in WA’s Kimberley region kicked off last Friday with an initial 10 holes for 3,800 metres of combined reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling.

AVZ Minerals Ltd (ASX:AVZ) (OTCMKTS:AZZVF) (FRA:3A2) has updated the Manono Lithium and Tin Project resource in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to 401 million tonnes of spodumene-rich fresh pegmatite at a grade of 1.65% lithium oxide (Li2O), after including results from the recent pit floor drilling program at the Roche Dure pit.

Perpetual Resources Ltd (ASX:PEC) has received program of works (PoW) approval from the WA Government Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety (DMIRS), for its upcoming white sand only drill program at the Beharra project, 300 kilometres north of Perth in Western Australia.

Caspin Resources Ltd’s (ASX:CPN) diamond drill program at the Yarawindah Brook Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Elements (PGE) Project in Western Australia has intersected broad sulphide zones.

Brookside Energy Ltd (ASX:BRK) (OTCMKTS:RDEEF) (FRA:8F3) is continuing its drilling operations on schedule at the high-impact Jewell 13-12-1S-3W SXH1 well in the SWISH area of the world-class Anadarko Basin, Oklahoma.

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