UK stocks will start the new year with a bang

An improved economic outlook for the US following manufacturing data released yesterday while trading on UK shares was closed is expected to give a strong boost to the market this morning.

STRONG MARKET BOOST EXPECTED
GFT is quoting the FTSE 100 index to open up 75 points from Friday’s lunchtime close, at a level of 5,975.

The UK index is set to follow in the wake of other major European indices which were open yesterday also joined in the festive cheer, making similarly impressive gains, closing up as much as 2.5 per cent on the day.

AN OVERALL SENSE OF OPTIMISM
An overall sense of optimism seems set to prevail as we kick off the new year on this positive note, with investors betting on an all-round stronger global economic recovery.

The fact that this bullishness comes in spite of oil fast approaching $100 barrel – WTI crude hit two-year highs yesterday – suggests the move higher will have some legs.

HIGH ENERGY PRICES A  CONCERN
Nevertheless stubbornly high energy prices are likely in the longer term to add to inflationary concerns and will surely be a major focus for traders throughout 2011.

Martin Slaney is GFT’s director of global dealing operations.