Weaker US data has hit the dollar and allowed US stocks to move higher, while ex-dividends have hit the FTSE 100, says Chris Beauchamp, Chief Market Analyst at online trading platform IG.

Stocks edge higher

“US markets have moved higher on hopes that the Fed will opt to leave its hiking campaign on pause for longer, after jobless claims came in weaker than expected. This week has seen signs of broadening participation in the rally, with the Dow managing to recoup some losses, though once again it the Nasdaq 100 that is leading the way while small caps are in fact losing ground. Much now hangs on what the Fed says and does next week, and will see increasingly hesitant trading in stocks as the decision nears.”

Ex-dividend stocks hold back FTSE 100

“Given the swathe of ex-dividend names today it is not surprising that the FTSE 100 continues to struggle. A recovery in the pound against the dollar has also hampered the index, putting it on the back foot against other indices that have shown signs of strength.”
 

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