Hectic day for markets as BP rises

Results from BP and Standard Chartered have energised the markets, with the FTSE 100 20 points higher in mid-morning trading, says Chris Beauchamp, senior market analyst at IG

Hectic day for markets as BP rises

Yesterday’s doom and gloom has been banished from the markets for now, helped by results from BP and Standard Chartered that have stood out among a veritable barrage of corporate numbers.

The oil giant has, by dint of ruthless cost cutting and better operational performance, managed to exceed expectations, although the underlying profit is still well down on last year. The firm’s outlook managed to avoid sounding over-optimistic, but there still looks like an awful lot of good news baked into the price, which could become a severe burden if the expected rebound in oil fails to materialise.

Standard Chartered’s new boss continues to make all the right noises in the markets, as shown by the 10% bounce in the shares this  morning. Given the bank’s troubles in Asia and in commodity markets, just meeting expectations was good enough for shareholders. The big question now is whether performance in the coming year will merit the 56% bounce from the lows of February.

US durable goods and services PMI numbers this afternoon, plus earnings from over 200 US firms today, including Apple, mean that investors are bracing themselves for a manic session. Economic data will be taken with one eye on the Federal Reserve meeting, which concludes tomorrow, while tech bulls will be hoping Apple’s numbers will steady the Nasdaq, which is attempting to rally after a torrid few days.

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow to start at 18,000, up 23 from last night’s close.


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