Investment market update
UK equities have opened higher this morning following strong performances in the US and Asia although markets remain cautious ahead of UK GDP and German CPI data released today.
Asian stocks moved closer to erasing the week’s losses, while commodities climbed as China’s support for its equity market and a strong US growth number bolstered investors’ appetite for riskier assets. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is heading for its biggest three-day rally since 2011, leaving it little changed for the week.
US Stocks rose as the S&P 500 Index posted the biggest two-day gain since 2009 as a relief rally swept across global markets and the economy grew stronger than expected in the second quarter. Raw-material and energy companies advanced the most as commodity prices rebounded, with crude oil rising.
UK stocks closed 3.6% higher yesterday, clawing back almost all of its losses this week following a gain in China and the US. Miners led the way, with Anglo American and BHP Billiton jumping more than 9%. Antofagasta and Rio Tinto also performed well. Away from mining, Standard Chartered bank closed up 7%.
UK consumer confidence rose to match a 15-year high this month as Britain’s’ outlook for their personal finances and for the broader economy improved, according to GfK. The company’s sentiment index climbed 3 points to 7 from July, the same reading as in June, when it was at its highest level since January 2000.
Former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s refusal to cooperate with pro-European parties after next month’s ballot may complicate the formation of a government and force voters back to the ballots, River party leader Stavros Theodorakis said.
UK house price growth slowed in August in a sign values are stabilising, according to Nationwide Building Society. Prices rose 0.3% from July to an average £195,279. The annual pace of growth slowed to 3.2%, the lowest since June 2013, in part due to unusual strength in the annual measure of prices gains in August last year.
Switzerland unexpectedly avoided a recession last quarter as investment and private consumption helped return the economy to growth. GDP increased 0.2% in the three months through June, after a contraction of 0.2% in the previous quarter, according to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs. Economists forecast a 0.1% contraction, which would have pushed Switzerland into its first recession in six years.