The FTSE 100 is predicted to start Thursday on the front as the macroeconomic and political picture was in focus for equity markets.
CFD and spreadbetting firm IG Markets makes the London benchmark some 53 points higher with just over an hour to go until the open, with a quote of 5,709 to 5,713.
Wall Street managed a strong finish to Wednesday, driven by political headlines – Bernie Sanders withdrawal from the presidential race and also positive comments from Trump medical aide Anthony Fauci (director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases).
The Dow Jones ended Wednesday some 779 points or 3.44% higher at 23,433 whilst the S&P 500 similarly gained 3.4% to close at 2,749. The Nasdaq rose to close 2.58% higher at 8,090.
It was rounded off with indications of a supportive Federal Reserve. Later weekly jobs data will be in focus – not least as economists predict another 5.5mln Americans became unemployed in the past week, which would move the aggregate to close to 10mln for the past fortnight.
“The sharp rise in unemployment levels across the world is a clear and present concern for some in the markets, who take the not unreasonable view that markets are underestimating the economic damage that is about to be unleashed on the US and the global economy,” said Michael Hewson, analyst at CMC Markets.
“Under ordinary circumstances, it would have been an important day for UK data with the release of the latest GDP numbers for the month of February, along with industrial and manufacturing production data.
The analyst added: “Given recent events these aren’t normal circumstances, which means today’s expected rise of 0.1% will probably be the high-water mark for the UK economy for months to come.”
In Europe, attentions are on EU finance talks which failed to agree terms for a joint €500bn pandemic relief fund.
Asian markets were mixed. Japan’s Nikkei fell 128 points or 0.66% to 19,224, whilst Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 144 points or 0.6% to 24,115. The Shanghai composite was in positive territory too, rising 0.4% to 2,826.
Around the markets
The pound: US$1.2380, down 0.02%
Gold: US$1,648 per ounce, down 0.97%
Brent crude: US$33.24 per barrel, up 4.1%
Bitcoin: US$7287, down 1.18%
Thursday 9 April:
Finals: Puretech Health PLC (LON:PRTC),
Economic data: UK trade balance, UK production, UK monthly GDP, US jobless claims, US PPI