UK markets have continued the weekly theme and gained strength on Friday morning on hit GDP expectations, despite a far worse than expected current account deficit.
The FTSE 100 is trading at 5 6,624.34 heading mid European morning, a 0.55% premium on the day’s open. Despite the gain, the UK insurance industry is weighing heavily on the index, as the UK FCA announces it will begin an investigation into 30 million life insurance policies sold in the 1970s. Resolution Limited (RSL.L) has been hit hardest, currently down 10.19% at 286.50, while competitor Legal & General Group Plc. (LGEN.L) is down 4.89% at 202.01.
Perhaps propping up the buoyant UK markets is the release of GDP data, with the YoY and QoQ figures coming in as expected, at 2.7% and 0.7% respectively. Current account, -22.4 billion, showed a small deficit contraction from the previous release, – 22.8 billion, but missed expectations of -14.0 billion.
In Germany, the DAX 30 is up 1.01%, currently trading at 9,546.61. Leading the charge is automotive manufacturer Daimler, currently trading at 68.50, a 2.07% rise, on better than expected van sales for the quarter. Data is relatively quiet out of Germany, with the only release of note the import price index, which missed expectations at -0.1%. Eurozone news may be contributing to the upside momentum, with a raft of business and consumer climate data coming in on target or beating expectations.
In the US, index futures are up across the board pre-trade. S&P 500 futures are up 0.32% at 1,846.45, while NASDAQ 100 futures are up 0.44% at 3,569,90. The markets will likely open cautiously, as traders and investors look to key data releases during the US morning session. Core PCE index, personal spending and Michigan consumer sentiment data are the headline releases, forecast at 0.1%, 0.3% and 80.5 respectively. Expect some considerable volatility heading into US lunchtime on misses of any of these releases.
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