FTSE 100 to start higher as momentum returns

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The FTSE 100 is expected to open higher on Wednesday as market momentum prepared to rebound from yesterday’s declines.

Spread-betters IG expect the blue-chip index to add around 40 points at the open after ending Tuesday’s session down 47 points at 6,923.

The prior day’s session appeared to have suffered from a bout of profit-taking in the wake of a string of strong performances market, with recent comments from US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen saying that interest rates may need to rise to prevent the economy overheating also pressuring equities.

The sell-off made for a mixed picture on Wall Street overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 0.06% at 34,133 while the S&P 500 dropped 0.67% to 4,164 and the Nasdaq fell 1.88% to 13,633, dragged down by tech stocks.

It was a similarly negative picture in Asia this morning, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 down 0.83% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.32%.

On currency markets, the pound was up 0.1% at US$1.39 against the dollar, although US services data due later today could provide a catalyst for movement.

Around the markets:

Sterling: US$1.39, up 0.1%

Brent crude: US$69.36 a barrel, up 0.7%

Gold: US$1,778 an ounce, no change

Bitcoin: US$54,625, down 2.9%

6.50am: Early Markets – Asia / Australia

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region were mixed on Wednesday following an overnight session on Wall Street where the S&P 500 fell amid selling in technology and other high-growth stocks.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 0.33% while Singapore’s Straits Times index declined 0.82%.

Shares in Australia advanced, with the S&P/ASX 200 trading 0.57% higher.

Markets on the Chinese mainland, Japan and South Korea were closed on Wednesday for holidays.

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Proactive Australia news:

Great Boulder Resources Ltd (ASX:GBR) shares have hit a new two-year high as initial results from reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the Mulga Bill prospect within the Side Well Gold Project in Western Australia intersected bonanza grade gold of up to 1-metre at 136 g/t.

Yandal Resources Ltd (ASX:YRL) has hit 1-metre at 20.68 g/t gold from 118 metres, its highest primary gold grade to date at Gordons Dam Prospect within the wider Gordons Gold Project in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region of Western Australia.

Core Lithium Ltd (ASX:CXO) (OTCMKTS:CXOXF) has drilling contracts signed with major lithium exploration and resource drilling programs set to begin in coming weeks at the Finniss Lithium Project near Darwin in the Northern Territory.

Firefinch Ltd (ASX:FFX) (FRA:N9F) (OTCMKTS:EEYMF) has revealed a new Life of Mine plan (LOMP) for the Morila Gold Mine in Mali, West Africa, outlining annual average production of 160,000 ounces to 2030 through mining and processing of around 37.5 million tonnes at 1.33 g/t for 1.45 million recovered ounces.

Bellevue Gold Ltd (ASX:BGL) made strong progress during the March quarter as the company closes in on becoming a high-grade, long-life gold producer in a tier-1 location in Western Australia.

Westar Resources Ltd (ASX:WSR) is committed to systematic evaluation and exploration of its portfolio of projects in Western Australia, including extensive drilling, through diligent application of capital and resources.

Orthocell Ltd’s (ASX:OCC) strong cash position of $17.77 million at the end of the March quarter will enable the company to progress key regulatory approvals and its commercialisation strategy.

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