Traders swoon for equities once more

Equities are in high demand this morning, with the FTSE 100 50 points higher despite a slew of big dividends.

-       Equity ramp pushes on
-       Falling dollar the big story once more
-       RELX suffers another bad day

Markets have settled back into their routine of steady gains it seems, as the earthquake moment prompted by the US CPI reading passes. The market has looked at the data, had a think, then another think, and has decided. The decision appears to be to resume selling the dollar, furiously buying up non-US assets wherever they can be found, but also going back into US equities with gusto. Yet again we have been treated to the sight of the euro and sterling rallying along with UK and European stocks, a sign that shows risk appetite is back. The only possible fly in the ointment is that the dollar basket is so far showing distinct reluctance to move below the low near the 88 level it hit at the
 end of January. Dollar bulls have this to cling to at least, but rallies here have been there for the selling for a year now, and I’m not sure why this one will be any different. Support levels are there to be broken, after all.

The FTSE 100’s respectable gain this morning comes even with a chunky set of ex-dividends from the likes of Shell and AstraZeneca but also taking a bath today is RELX, which has fallen to the £14 level last seen at the end of January 2017. While there are clear worries about future growth in some divisions, it is also likely that RELX is being dumped along with other high dividend stocks, a notable feature of last night’s US session. The rise in Treasury yields has diminished the star appeal of such firms, although whether the move merits the 20% wipeout in RELX shares is a matter for debate. Ahead of the open, we expect the Dow to start at 25,124, up 230 points from last night’s close.

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