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FTSE 100 seen flat after rally as commodities retreat

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The FTSE 100 is seen 0.1% lower today after rallying 2.65% on Tuesday after HSBC (LON:HSBA) reported a twofold jump in H1 profits. Investors got more good news when the Commerce Department said that construction spending unexpectedly increased in June. US manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers index) declined from 26.2 to 55.5, however analysts expected a steeper fall.

Oil and gas engineering firm Petrofac (LON:PFC) and quality and safety services firm Intertek (LON:ITRK) led the blue chips with gains of 6.2%. Anglo-Swiss miner Xstrata (LON:XTA) rose 6%. Oil and gas producer Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) advanced 5.6% and banking group HSBC (LON:HSBA) added just over 5%, as did base metal miner Vedanta Resources (LON:VED). Airline British Airways (LON:BAY), Kazakh miner Kazakhmys (LON:KAZ) and Essar Energy (LON:ESSR) climbed 5.1%.

Gold miner Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) was the only FTSE 100 constituent to lose more than 1%, shedding 1.7%.

US stocks surged yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 2%, while the broader S&P 500 index rallied 2.2% and the technology heavy NASDAQ composite moved up 1.8%.

Asian markets were in buying mode. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s KOSPI, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5%, China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.2% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 surged 1.3%.

Commodities

Oil prices rallied yesterday, tracking gains in equity markets. September Brent Crude reached US$80.87/barrel, while US light, sweet crude for September delivery climbed to US$81.40/barrel.

Precious metals retreated from yesterday’s levels. Gold slid to US$1,182/oz, while silver and platinum moved down to US$18.33/oz and US$1,587/oz respectively.

Base metals followed. Copper and nickel declined to US$3.35/lb and US$9.79/barrel, while zinc dropped to US$0.93/lb.

US pending home sales, factory orders, personal income, consumption and personal spending data is due out today.

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