In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is 15 points higher, with equity markets looking stronger in the wake of some dovish Fed minutes.

  • FTSE 100 reclaims 6900.

  • Growth stocks back in favour.

  • ASOS steady after results.

It has taken three months, but the FTSE 100 is back above 6900, enjoying a rare streak of outperformance compared to other global markets which are showing more hesitation. However, the positive feeling is in evidence across most markets, with steady gains for European indices following on from a broadly positive session for Asia overnight. The latest set of Fed minutes delivered yet another reminder of Jerome Powell’s determination to let the US economy run hot rather than move too early on rate rises, and this dawning realisation has been reflected in the strength of growth stocks such as those of the Nasdaq, which have made up plenty of lost ground in recent weeks as the shift from growth to value goes into reverse. Still, the ‘steady as she goes’ mantra from the Fed is likely to be positive for most parts of the market, and even banks will benefit from the rebounding global economy, even if their margins remain squeezed thanks to low-interest rates

ASOS shares remain in the holding pattern seen over the past two months, hovering in the region of £57 following first-half results that confirm the strength of the business and put it in a good position even as the UK economy sees physical stores reopening. Having pivoted swiftly to casual wear for lockdowns, it will now look to execute an about face as people look to refresh their ‘going out’ wardrobes.

Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow to start at 33,457, up 11 points from Wednesday’s close. 

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