FTSE Poised for Second Successive Weekly Gain
Barring a dramatic about turn later today the FTSE 100 is set to post another week of gains after breaking a series of lower closes last Friday. After two inside weeks during which the market traded within a fairly narrow 200 point range, this Tuesday saw a strong rally occur and price break above the recent high. There's been ample reason of late for the market to turn lower but its failure to do so with any degree of conviction has caused bears to run for cover as bulls have regained the upper hand.
United Utilities recovers losses
Water company United Utilities leads the gainers in the FTSE 100 this morning, moving higher by just over 1.5% with the index as a whole remaining broadly flat. The increase in share price today has seen the majority of yesterday's losses pared back, with the drop following the release of annual trading results looking like an over reaction, as despite a decline in profits the earnings were overall relatively resolute. Rio Tinto is also enjoying a decent day of gains, but the increase hasn't been replicated amongst its sector peers with Antofagasta and Anglo American both moving lower.
Sterling shrugs off Brexit fears
In a similar vein to stocks, the pound is also on track to post strong weekly gains despite the looming threat of a Brexit still hanging over the currency. The GBPUSD looks set to post its highest weekly close of the year, and the panic that gripped the pair around three months ago when the date for a referendum and Boris Johnson's support for the leave campaign were announced seems a fairly distant memory. The knee-jerk reaction saw the pair trade down to a low of 1.3835 which marked the lowest level since February 2009 as fervent speculation of a pound capitulation weighed heavy on sterling. Whilst part of the resurgence can be credited to a weakening of the buck, the lion's share appears to have come from the dissipation of Brexit fears which has led to an appreciation of the pound. This is seemingly based more on a lower probability of this outcome occurring - despite what recent polls say - rather than any positive developments regarding what the economic situation would look like in this eventuality.