FTSE 100 to start higher as market volatility takes a pause

FTSE 100 to start higher as market volatility takes a pause

The FTSE 100 is expected to start Thursday on the front foot as global equity markets were given a temporary pause from volatility. IG Markets sees London’s blue-chip index up around 17 points, making the price 6,764 to 6,767 with just over an hour to go until the open. It follows on from a calm Wednesday session which came and went without any major market shaking headlines. “Volatility in the markets was low across the board yesterday. There was no change to the macroeconomic outlook, hence why trading ranges were relatively small,” said David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets. “The health crisis is still bubbling away in the background, which means that governments are expected to maintain their current lockdowns. To an extent, that is being counteracted by the distribution of vaccines but realistically speaking that process will be drawn out.” On Wall Street, the Dow Jones closed in negative territory dipping 8 points or 0.02% to finish Wednesday’s session at 31,060. The S&P 50 marked a 0.23% gain as it closed at 3,809 and the Nasdaq had added 0.43% as it ended the trading day at 13,128. The small-caps Russell 2000 index, meanwhile, dropped 0.75% to finish Wednesday at 2,111. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei this morning advanced 241 points or 0.85% to trade at 28,698 whilst Hong Kong’s Hang Seng moved up 0.59% to 28,426. The Shanghai Composite traded negatively, down 0.8% at 3,569. Around the markets The pound: US$1.3654, down 0.04% Gold: US$1,843 per ounce, down 0.24% Silver: US$25.27 per ounce, down 0.3% Brent crude: US$55.97, down 1.07% WTI crude: US$52.90, down 0.58% Bitcoin: US$37,864, up 11.42% 6.45 am: Early Markets: Asia / Australia Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed today as China’s exports rose 18.1% in December compared with a year earlier, according to customs data. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 led gains among the region’s major markets rising 0.85% while South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.04%. Mainland Chinese stocks declined with the Shanghai composite shedding 0.81%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.61% and in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.43% higher. Proactive Australia news: YPB Group Ltd (ASX:YPB) has secured a Master Services Agreement (MSA) with Legitifli, a product authentication solutions distributor focused on the US reseller market for sportswear apparel, sneakers, streetwear, accessories and collectables. Eclipse Metals Ltd (ASX:EPM) has entered a “transformational” agreement to acquire the Ivittuut Project in Greenland which is the world’s largest and only source of naturally occurring cryolite – an extremely rare mineral in commercial quantities. Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT) (FRA:3MW) has entered into an acquisition and joint venture agreement with Galan Lithium Ltd (ASX:GLN) (FRA:9CH) for the sale of its 80% interest in the Greenbushes South Lithium Project. Kin Mining NL’s (ASX:KIN) (FRA:8KM) Iron King Project near Leonora in Western Australia has the potential to emerge as a new greenfields discovery after the company received strong new assay results from recent aircore drilling. Horizon Minerals Ltd (ASX:HRX) (OTCMKTS:HZNM) is preparing itself for a new gold growth phase as it moves forward with its largest-ever exploration program with up to four drill rigs in operation at its 890 square kilometres 100%-owned tenement package. Orthocell Ltd (ASX:OCC) has received Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 510(k) clearance to market and supply its CelGro collagen medical device for dental bone and tissue regeneration procedures in the US. Yandal Resources Ltd (ASX:YRL) has received further encouragement from high-grade results at Gordons Dam prospect within the Gordons Gold Project in the highly prospective Kalgoorlie-Boulder Region of Western Australia. MMJ Group Holdings Ltd’s  (ASX:MMJ) (OTCMKTS:MMJJF) (FRA:2P9) shares outshined the benchmark Alternative Harvest ETF in the month of December by rising 8% compared to a negative 10% for the benchmark. Pantoro Ltd (ASX:PNR) is well-placed to fund development activities at the high-value Norseman Gold Project after achieving free cashflow of $7.6 million at the Halls Creek Project for the quarter ending December 31, 2020. Metro Mining Ltd (ASX:MMI) (FRA:6ME) plans to resume operations at its Bauxite Hills mine in Far North Queensland in April after shutting down for the wet season – in time for deliveries recommencing under the existing contract with Xinfa.

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