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FTSE 100 called to open higher Friday; Chinese economic growth beats expectationsJanuary 18 2013, 6:13am
FTSE 100 is expected to open higher Friday after buoyant trading yesterday afternoon saw the index close up over half a per cent.
Positive news from the US and a strong show from retailers, including Primark owner ABF, played a part in the momentum.
It closed Thursday up 28 points at 6,132, and financial bookmakers are calling it to open around another five points higher today.
Overnight in Asia, equities performed strongly fuelled by expectation-beating figures showing the Chinese economy grew by 7.9% in the fourth quarter compared to a year earlier.
Industrial output in December rose 10.3% from a year earlier, in line with economists’ expectations but higher than the 10.1% rise recorded in November showing signs of improvement in the Chinese economy.
Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 2.4% at10,870 on a softer yen, while the Shanghai Composite Index is 1.27% to the good - trading at 2,313.
In the US, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Index closed the day up 0.63% at 13,596, bolstered by improving sentiment and some good macroeconomic numbers.
Chris Weston, of IG Index, noted: "There was a strong recovery in risk assets with the focus pinned on US economic data. Most of the data released in the US showed strong signs of self-healing, particularly in the housing market. Building permits data arrived in line with consensus, but housing starts jumped to 950,000, beating consensus of 890,000.
"Unemployment claims dropped to 335,000 and beat an expected 369,000. It wasn’t all good news however, with the Philly Fed manufacturing index disappointing. The market decided to shake this off and focused on the recovery in the jobs and housing market.
"In other US news, fourth-quarter earnings season continued overnight. In sharp contrast to the solid reports from JP Morgan and Goldman, Bank of America and Citigroup disappointed, with shares traded lower, which carried over to the local market as the finance sector lost steam."
On the corporate front today, news flow tails off with even the retailers taking the day off from reporting. However, there are UK retail sales figures to pore over. Announcements are expected from house builder Bovis (LON:BVS) and instrumentation company Spectris (LON:SXS).
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