- FTSE100 was trading in a positive zone up by 112 points, led by a gain in retail and travel stock.
- Gold futures contract trades in negative, as investors keep an eye on important ECB meet starting today.
FTSE 100 continues to rally on Wednesday in the first half of trade, up by 112 points at 6993 and heading towards reclaiming the 7000 mark, led by the gains in the retail and travel sector stocks. The top gainer among the FTSE100 stocks was fashion retailer Next Plc, after it revealed an upbeat profit forecast and higher sales number. Mid-cap focused FTSE250 was also up by 1.68% at the 22490 levels.
Major European market indexes also traded in green after the weak start on Monday. The rise in the index was led by positive earnings forecast and upward guidance by Europe-based companies like SAP and Akzo Nobel. German blue-chip DAX index was up by 0.85% at 15,345, while the CAC40 index of France at 6,431, up by 1.33%. The European Central Bank will start its two-day meeting from today. It is anticipated that the bank, in its new strategy, will have a slightly higher tolerance for inflation.
The pound is quoting slightly higher, up by 0.02% at 1.3628 against the US dollar, while the EUR/ GBP currency pair traded at 0.8641, down by 0.02%.
WTI crude oil future contract traded at USD 67.92, up by 1.07%, while the Brent crude oil trades at USD 70.13, up by 1.14%. The crude oil extended gains from the previous session despite data showing a rise in US oil inventories and a fear of a weaker demand outlook in coming days due to a rise in cases of Covid-19 infection, which could force another lockdown worldwide.
Gold August futures contract was trading in negative territory, down by 0.39% at USD 1804 per ounce and anticipated to break 1800 level as investors turn cautious ahead of the European Central Bank two-day policy meet. The meeting outcome will shed more light on ECB stand on monetary policy strategy and forward guidance on inflation.
Major Asia Pacific indexes closed the day in green, Australia’s ASX200 closed at 7308, up by 0.78%. Australia’s retail sales, though saw a dip of 1.8% in June month as compared to the previous month after the country’s Bureau of Statistics published the data on Wednesday.
Nikkei 225 of Japan also closed in the green after yesterday’s fall of nearly 1%, which saw the index close on a six-month low. Today the blue-chip index was up by 0.58% at 27548. Shanghai Composite of China closing in green, up by 0.73% at 3562, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed in red, down by 0.04% at 27201.