Equity markets have built on the previous week’s gains with a stable Asian session paving the way for a strong European open. London’s blue chip index along with Germany’s DAX both started the day on a strong footing, extending gains for four straight sessions respectively as markets are poised to close around current levels. At the time of writing London was trading 0.7% higher while the DAX index was up 0.6%, France’s CAC 40 struggled with direction throughout the morning but managed to follow other benchmark European indices higher and is currently trading 0.1% higher.
The positive sentiment seen in European markets was carried over to the US session where Wall Street equity indices built on previous gains to extend to fresh intraday highs. Encouraging GDP data on Friday helped boost investor appetite and the release of better than expected data today has further supported equity markets higher as the Chicago Fed National Activity Index came in at 0.6, better than the 0.3 expected by economist polled by Bloomberg and month on month growth in personal spending in November was largely in line with expectations at 0.5%. The University of Michigan confidence index came in slightly below expectations, with a reading of 82.5 in December, but was still stable compared to the previous month, further reinforcing the Fed’s stance of tapering in January as the economic recovery remains on track. At the time of writing both the S&P 500 and DJIA were trading up by 0.4% and 0.35% respectively.