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Stocks tick up as fear dissipates

European equity markets are largely positive this morning, but political uncertainty still looms over Italy and Spain.

Short covering and bargain-hunting have pushed stocks higher, but as the underlying political problems are far from being fixed, the positive move might not last long.

President Trump wants to let the world know he means business, after announcing tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. Trade negotiations between the US and China are going well, and Mr Trump wants to send a message to the EU and Canada as they are also in line for trade talks.

Telford Homes shares are lower today despite a strong set of full-year figures. Revenue and pre-tax profit jumped by 8.3% and 35% respectively. The homebuilder confirmed it is on-track to achieve its target of £50 million pre-tax profit next year. Shareholders will be happy with the update after the total dividend was increased by 9%. A robust housing market is helping the company deliver strong results. Telford Homes is tapping into the rental market too, as the company is increasing its ‘focus’ on the build-to-rent sector. The share price has been in an uptrend since July 2016, and if the positive move continues it could target 480p.

Shares in Photo-Me have plummeted after the company issued a profit warning. The group now anticipates full-year pre-tax profit to be at least £44 million, while equity analysts were expecting £54.1 million. The company cited a soft patch at the Japanese business as the reason for the profit warning, and it intends to carry out rigorous restructuring at the division.  

At 1.30pm (UK time) the US first-quarter GDP report is released, and the consensus estimate is for a figure of 2.3% on an annual basis, which would be a slight decline from last year’s 2.5%.

EUR/USD has rebounded from its 10-month low and the better-than-expected German jobs data assisted with the positive move. The German unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 5.2%, while economists were expecting it to remain at 5.3%.

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open up 89 points at 24,450 and we are calling the S&P 500 up 11 points at 2,700.

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