It’s rare nowadays that you read some upbeat news on the front of the financial pages and today throughout the newspapers there’s little in the way of dire news. For once things actually look up for equities after company results from some US bellwethers last night surprised to the upside taking the Dow back above 10300 and the S & P 500 just below 1100. When companies like UPS and Caterpillar beat analyst expectations then it’s hard not to be optimistic as one represents domestic demand within the world’s biggest economy and the other is very much globally orientated. There’s little wonder why investors shrugged off the weak housing numbers to focus on the corporate data and they liked it.
As well as this strong US profits, there are other little snippets that also give reasons to be slightly more optimistic. Yesterday’s retail sales in the UK were much better than expected. The good weather of recent has allowed many of us to bury our concerns about the gloomier prospects for the economy to spend more on clothing and in pubs, bars and restaurants. The World Cup was also a contributing factor. This in turn should help today’s GDP numbers which are expected due to show Q2 growth doubling to 0.6%.
Then there’s the Farnborough Air Show which has seen bumper orders for new aeroplanes, with Richard Branson treating himself to 60 of them to celebrate his 60th birthday.
Finally, top mark champagne brands have seen a jump in sales, which on its own isn’t going to prevent a double dip if ever there is one, but these are little signals that indicate that the tide is turning for the global economy.
The fear of course that this is just a flash in the pan and when the austerity really takes hold, it’ll be to the cost of growth.
The FTSE was looking to suffer from a bout of profit taking dipping below 5300 when it first opened this morning, but it’s now flat and back above 5300. Last night’s close above 5300 is encouraging for the bulls as this hasn’t been seen since May and shows that the market is content to have a look at these resistance levels and see if there’s an appetite to push on higher.
5340 and then 5375 are key near term levels of resistance and then 5445 is important if we get up there. To the downside support is seen at 5150 and 5085, then the low of 4780.
As already mentioned, the GDP numbers will be a focus of the day and then the results of the European banking stress tests. There’s a little disappointment regarding how stringent these tests have been, but the underlying problem for many of these banks isn’t necessarily the value of their loan books, but the lack of liquidity in the money markets.
Currency markets are a little flat ahead of the stress test results, with sterling just about being the winner so far this morning. Back above 1.5300, bulls will have half an eye on 1.5500. Ever since mid-June cable has been above its 50 day moving average and hasn’t looked back, finding support on the 20 day whenever there’s been a little move to the downside.
For the euro, 1.3000 has just been a step too far as currency traders await the results the single currency is just a little weaker at 1.2878 and GBP/EUR up to 1.1890.
Gold has once again found support and is testing 1200 again after making a brief visit above there yesterday and with the precious metal knocking on resistance’s door, crude is also having a look at $80, just above $79 this morning.