Mood of markets is upbeat

Although it&rsquo;s widely expected that US interest rates will be kept on hold in the 0 per cent to 0.25 per cent range once more in the announcement from the Federal Open Market Committee scheduled at 19:15 London time on Wednesday, talk is picking up that the Fed will start tightening monetary policy sooner than many expect. <br /><br />With the Fed&rsquo;s chairman Ben Bernanke last week saying that the US recession was &ldquo;very likely over&rdquo;, watch the statement accompanying the headline decision for its degree of economic optimism and any clues as to when rates may start to rise. <br /><strong><br />QUANTITATIVE EASING DECISION<br /></strong>More central bank activity on Wednesday comes by way of the minutes from the latest Bank of England meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, from which traders will attempt to decipher the chances for the future of quantitative easing.<br /><br />There are plenty of other economic data releases from the States to lend the markets direction, including existing home sales and initial jobless on Thursday, and durable goods and University of Michigan sentiment on Friday. <br /><strong><br />OPTIMISTIC MOOD CONTINUES<br /></strong>After the FTSE 100 put in another big week, with gains of more than 150 points, GFT's &ldquo;grey market&rdquo; quote is indicating the optimistic mood to continue this morning, with a quote of 5183 to 5189 suggesting a rise of 13 points from Friday&rsquo;s close. The German DAX is also looking higher on the open, up 10 points at 5,713, and the French CAC is also called up 10 points at 3,837. <br /><br />Martin Slaney is head of derivitives at GFT Global Markets