Christmas cheer to lift the markets

TRADING is expected to be range-bound on European stock markets on the open today, with a mild bias to the upside as we begin a holiday-shortened week.

GFT is quoting the FTSE 100 index to open up six points from Friday’s close, at a level of 5,877. The German DAX 40 is expected to open up 10 points at 6,992, and the French CAC 40 index is forecast to open up five points at 3,872.

The week will inevitably be dominated by thoughts of the upcoming holidays, and a light economic data calendar will do little to aid direction.

One highlight will come by way of the Bank of England’s minutes on Wednesday, which will no doubt come under much scrutiny following last week’s consumer price index data, a higher-than-expected 3.3 per cent, generating inflationary fears once again, and traders will be looking for clues from the minutes as to when interest rates may be raised.

By Friday the full Christmas wind-down will be in play, with UK markets only open until lunchtime, and Germany and the US fully closed for the day.