Overview: The FTSE 100 is projected to add 25 points or roughly 0.4% today after China’s exports beat expectations with a 17.7% year on year increase in December after sliding for over a year.
The US stocks market recovered late in the session with the main indices crawling out of the red and ending the day with small gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched 0.1% higher, while the broader S&P 500 index climbed 0.3%. The technology heavy NASDAQ composite did better with a 0.75% advance.
Asian markets were bullish on Monday after the Chinese export and import update. China’s Shanghai composite index was up 1.5%, also buoyed by the government’s decision to allow the trading of stock index futures, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.6%, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.1% and South Korea’s KOSPI closed flat.
The UK blue chip index rose 0.15% on Monday after turning negative in mid afternoon after US non-farm payrolls data showed that 85,000 more jobs were lost in December after a decline of just 11,000 in the previous month with most analysts expecting an increase. The jobless report that also came out on Fridaysaid that the unemployment rate remained at 10% in December, unchanged from the previous month.
Base metal miners were having a good day with ENRC (LSE: ENRC) taking the lead in the index with a 5% climb, while peers Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ) and Xstrata (LSE: XTA) followed, tacking on about 2.5%. Other notable risers included cruise operator Carnival Corp (LSE: CCL) and interdealer broker ICAP (LSE: IAP) with gains of 2.5%, engineering firm Invensys (LSE: ISYS) and heating and plumbing equipment manufacturer Wolseley (LSE: WOS), which all added 2%.
Financial stocks were in decline with hedge fund manager Man Group (LSE: EMG) sinking to the bottom of the pile with a 2.3% loss, while London Stock Exchange Group (LSE: LSE) and part-nationalised bank RBS (LSE: RBS) followed, shedding more than 2%. Software developer Autonomy Corporation (LSE: AU) was down 2%.
Oil prices rose with February Brent Crude reaching US$82.20/barrel, while US light, sweet crude advanced to US$83.49/barrel.
Precious metals also did well as gold reached US$1,153/oz, silver climbed to US$18.80/oz and platinum reached US$1,575/oz.
Base metals followed with copper and nickel reaching US$3.46/lb and US$8.27/lb respectively, while zinc improved to US$1.17/lb.
Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company