BoJ sends Nikkei to 2016 high

Japanese stocks have rallied to their highest level of the year during the Asian session following the Bank of Japan meeting overnight which saw the central bank maintain their dovish rhetoric despite a recent sharp drop in the Yen. However this has failed to provide any significant moves higher for the UK stock market with the FTSE 100 seemingly already in holiday mode and lower by 9 points but remaining above the big psychological level of 7000. The pound is little changed on the day, with the only substantial move against a major pair being the rise against the Yen that is more down to weakness in the Japanese currency.

Housebuilders look to rise into year-end

The best performing stock on the FTSE 100 so far today is Barratt Developments, with shares in the homebuilder rising by approximately 1.5%. It has been a challenging six months for the firm with the shock outcome of the Brexit vote seeing large scale selling in the stock, but investors will hope that after the initial panic price has found some support and could look to end the year on the front foot. Taylor Wimpey is also enjoying a fair size gain this Tuesday, rising by 0.6% so far. Banking shares have experienced volatile trade in recent weeks with fears surrounding the solvency of their Italian counterparts seeing wild swings in London due to contagion fears. Disaster has been averted thus far and Lloyds, Barclays and RBS are all seeking to continue their recent rally which comes as a welcome relief following a tough year for shareholders.

Gold stocks lose their shine

After a stellar performance in the first half of the year, Fresnillo and Randgold Resources have seen some selling in recent months and both are continuing lower today with the former residing at the bottom of the FTSE 100. A global push higher in yields, which began stateside following Trump's victory shows little signs of ending anytime soon and this makes non-yielding assets such as gold relatively less attractive. The Pharmaceuticals sector is seeing some mixed performance this morning with AstraZeneca and Johnson Matthey performing well, whilst Hikma Pharmaceuticals is selling off.

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