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Stocks in the UK and Europe jumped over 1% higher on Wednesday encouraged by a positive close in the US that saw the Dow Jones gain triple digits. The US confirmed as growing at 2% and plans for an expansion of the Chinese government’s budget deficit next year both bode well for world growth.

China announced another step towards liberalisation of its financial markets on Wednesday with an extension to yuan trading hours in 2016.

More M&A chatter, this time from Syngenta AG chairman Michael Demare that his company is in advanced talk over a tie-up is fuelling the belief that 2016 will see more mega-mergers, adding to positive sentiment. The Swiss company has been linked with DuPont and China National Chemical Corp but Mr Demare says there are more players involved with “the whole industry talking to each other.”

Resource shares continue to lead the bounce-back in thin trading on the FTSE 100 with Glencore, Anglo American and BHP Billiton top three risers with Royal Dutch Shell and BP not far behind. Brent crude above $35 per barrel and copper above $2 per lb should be enough to fend off commodity sector bears into the year-end.

The British pound fell briefly after UK GDP growth unexpectedly slipped to 0.4% in the third quarter, down from previous estimates of 0.5% according to the ONS.

It’s too little too late for a Santa rally for US stocks which are well down in December but look set for a third positive session on Wednesday after well-received earnings from Nike.

Nike shares could breakout to fresh record highs on Wednesday after the world’s number one sports apparel-maker topped estimates for earnings and future orders.

 

USA pre-opening levels

S&P 500: 8 points higher at 2,046

Dow Jones: 74 points higher at 17,491

Nasdaq 100: 20 points higher at 4,609

 

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