FTSE rallies as lockdown eases

Close-up of market chart
Fiona Cincotta
By :  ,  Senior Market Analyst

FTSE rallies as lockdown eases

The easing of the lockdowns in the UK and across Europe is continuing to support London stocks even though concerns linger about tensions in Hong Kong and a potential freshening of the US-China spat.

Airlines and air travel related companies have gained the most this morning alongside UK fund managing business M&G which plans to buy Ascentric, an adviser platform that holds £14bn in assets from insurer Royal London. However, Rolls Royce came under pressure after one major shareholder sold close to 97 million shares.  

Volatile day ahead in the US

The trading day in the US could become fairly volatile as three factors bring in some unpredictability into the market. President Trump’s plans to sign an executive order on social media  could open a whole new chapter in the US legislation and has the potential to undermine some of the biggest companies on US exchanges. Shares in social media firms started skidding as President Trump’s love affair with Twitter came to an abrupt end this week when the company for the first time attached a warning to one of the President’s tweets about the reliability of postal voting.  

The second factor is yesterday’s surprise rise in US oil reserve levels published by the American Petroleum Institute at a time when investors had expected to see a decline in stocks given that all of the US states are now to some degree reopening. The more precise and detailed data on US oil stocks will be published later today by the Energy Information Agency and if it bears out API’s number, WTI prices, already down 3.2% this morning, could come under further pressure.

Lastly new US jobless claims are also due out later today and are expected to be in the range of 2 million new claims. However, they should be looked at together with the number of continuing claims as fresh hiring starts to bring employees back into the job market.

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