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London pre-open: FTSE to feel the benefit of Fed largesse

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It is all systems go for UK equities this morning after a strong showing yesterday by US markets and big gains in Asia overnight.

Spread betting quotes indicate the top-share index in the UK will open around 20 points higher at 6.795.

The "risk-on" attitude is being encouraged by speculation that the US central bank will keep its relaxed monetary regime going for a while longer yet.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is set to conclude its monthly policy-making meeting today and is expected to reaffirm its commitment to its US$85bn monthly bond purchase programme.

In the US, the big three benchmarks all racked up solid gains; the Dow climbed 0.7% to 15,680, the S&P 500 jumped 0.6% to 1,772 and the NASDAQ Composite hardened 0.3% to 3,952.

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 is currently showing a 1.2% rise at 14,502 while in Hong Kong the Hang Seng is up 0.9% at 23,042.

Back in the UK, the banking results season continues with Barclays (LON:BARC) set to account for itself.

Elsewhere in the financial sector, life assurance leviathan Standard Life (LON:SL.) issues a third quarter update, while on the high street, fashion chain Next (LON:NXT) is also reporting.

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