Dow strength set to bolster European markets

A BOUNCE in US stocks after the European close on Friday is set to propel the FTSE higher on the open this morning.

GFT is calling the FTSE 100 to open up 32 points at 5,290. The German DAX 40 is quoted up 41 points at 6,188 and the French CAC 40 is expected to open with a gain of around 30 points, at 3,673.

BEST MONTH IN YEAR FOR US MARKET
After spending most of Friday in negative territory, the Dow later rallied some 60 points after stocks closed this side of the pond, to finish flat even despite weaker-than-expected GDP figures, rounding off the best month in a year for American markets; the FTSE, DAX and CAC also had a positive month after three consecutive months of decline.

So we are due an initial push to the upside today, although Euro-zone Purchasing Managers Index data and the US Institute of Supply Managers’ manufacturing index will be a major focus for traders later in the day.

BANKS SET TO DOMINATE AGENDA
European banks will continue to be in the spotlight this week, with HSBC kicking off the sector’s half-year earnings season today. Expected reduced bad debt writedowns will be the main area of concern.

Martin Slaney is director of global dealing operations for GFT.