The risk-on sentiment is still with traders in Europe this morning as equity markets push higher.
Consumer goods and consumer services are sectors that have gained the most on the FTSE 100, as traders have confidence British consumers are willing to go out and spend money.
ITV shares have gained the most on the FTSE 100 this morning, even though the company posted an 8% fall in first-half profits. The TV channel managed to increase its viewing share, and the increase in dividend of 5% attracted investors. The success of the TV show Love Island helped draw in more viewers, and the announcement of a second series, will keep the channel in demand.
The US Federal Reserve announce their interest rate decision and release a statement at 7pm (UK time). The Fed will be in focus tonight, even though investors are not anticipating any change to monetary policy. The US central bank would like to continue down the path of hiking interest rates, but they don’t seem to be in a hurry to raise rates again. Traders are sceptical the Fed will hike rates again this year, but it may start to reduce the size of its balance sheet. The Fed has a history of warning the market well in advance of changes to their monetary policy, so tonight’s statement will be watched carefully.
The GBP/USD pair traded a bit lower after the UK posted growth figures of 0.3% on a quarter-on-quarter basis, and 1.7% on a year-on-year basis – both were in line with expectations.
Brent Crude oil and WTI are holding above $50 and $48 respectively ahead of the oil stockpiles report later on. The energy information agency (EIA) will announce the US oil inventories report at 3.30pm, and dealers are expecting a drop of 2.7 million barrels, last week we saw a drop of 4.72 million barrels.
We are anticipating the Dow Jones to open 17 points higher at 21,630, and we are calling the S&P 500 unchanged at 2477.
At 3pm, the US will announce new home sales for June, and the consensus is for 615,000, and that would be an increase from May’s figure of 610,000.
Facebook and Ford will announce their second-quarter figures today.
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