FTSE to open over 100 points higher after holiday

A FROTHY combination of surprisingly strong US consumer spending data, merger news between two Greek banks, and general relief that Hurricane Irene largely avoided New York City, will give UK stocks a substantial boost when the market re-opens today after the long Bank Holiday weekend.

GFT quotes two-way prices on stock indices around the clock, even when the underlying markets are closed.

The FTSE 100 index is called to open up approximately one per cent or around 111 points at 5,240. European bourses were open as usual yesterday and enjoyed similar gains, with all 30 constituents of Germany’s DAX 30 up on the day.

Stock markets across the board also seem to have been energised by further reflection on Federal Reserve chairman’s Ben Bernanke on Friday, who hinted that should we see a disappointing payrolls number this Friday, action of some sort could be taken to support the stalling economy.

The signal sent by Bernanke – that the Fed would take an unusual extra day at the upcoming September policy meeting to mull options – is a branch of hope to the markets, and will make Friday’s jobs data even more interesting than usual.

The average forecast is for 80,000 jobs to be created but the range of analysts’ predictions is particularly wide, with some even expecting a negative number; on this occasion, bad news could be good news for markets now clinging to the possibility of further Fed action.

Martin Slaney is director of global dealing operations for GFT.