FTSE 100 to open higher as optimism begins to return

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The FTSE 100 is expected to start higher on Wednesday as optimism began to return to global markets following last week’s volatility.

Spread-betters IG are expecting the blue-chip index to open up 29 points after ending Tuesday’s session 50 points higher at 6,516.

Expectations of a positive start followed an upward trend on Wall Street overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 1.57% at 30,687 while the S&P 500 climbed 1.39% to 3,826 and the Nasdaq rose 1.56% to 13,612.

Traders in New York appeared to have been given a boost on the back of encouraging news on the pace of vaccinations in the US as well as the prospect of new stimulus measures and a decline of volatility caused by last week’s retail trading frenzy.

After-hours also saw big news from tech giants Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), with both firms reporting better than expected sales in quarterly earnings while Amazon also unveiled that its founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos will step down from his role in the third quarter of this year.

The picture was more mixed in Asia this morning despite the rally on Wall Street, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 up 1% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.04%.

On currency markets, the pound was down 0.09% at US$1.365 against the dollar, although services PMI data from both the UK and the US later today could provide some catalysts for movement.

Around the markets:

Sterling: US$1.365, down 0.09%

Brent crude: US$57.63 a barrel, up 0.3%

Gold: US$1,838 an ounce, up 0.01%

Bitcoin: US$36,716, up 7.7%

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