Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is flat, but US markets are advancing once again.

US equities are pushing higher after a shaky start, with equities having weathered options expiry in positive fashion. Kudlow’s trade comments have provided the foundation for the bounce, and a solid bounce in US retail sales compared to a month ago has added fuel to the fire. Even the lacklustre FTSE 100, which has spent the week diverging from the US in impressive fashion, is managing to stage a late rally. The positive read on US retail sales is a welcome development, sending a signal about the confidence of US consumers, and with earnings season having pointed towards a nascent recovery for US corporations, the stage is set for a continuation of this bull market. Adding to this, cash
 balances at fund managers are falling once again, putting more power behind the broader move higher. Talk of Dow 30,000 by Christmas might not be so far-fetched as previously thought.

The end of the week sees the pound pushing back to $1.29, building on the rally from Monday. After some indecision mid-week, sterling traders are taking a more bullish view as fresh polls point to the persistence of a wide Conservative lead over Labour. There is still a long way to go, and manifestos have not yet been presented, but so far the campaign is going Boris’ way.
 

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