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FTSE 100 to start on the front foot amid optimism following Fed minutes

6.30am: FTSE 100 to start on the front foot  FTSE 100 is expected build on Wednesday’s gains at open amid an optimistic environment. London’s leading index is called 22 points higher at 6,907 on Thursday at the opening bell. “The minutes from the March meeting showed that while Fed officials seemed happy with the direction of travel of the US economy, they wanted to see much clearer evidence of further progress before dialling back on the stimulus button. This adherence to what the Fed now calls “outcome-based guidance” is all part and parcel of the US central bank’s new policy of not reacting to perceptions of a direction of travel, but waiting until both goals of higher inflation and full employment has been achieved,” said Michael Hewson at CMC Markets. “While this is all well and good for now with US 10-year yields retreating from their recent highs it should be remembered that last night’s minutes came before last week’s bumper payrolls report and very positive ISM updates. These reports bode well for further strength in the second quarter, and while the Fed wants to give the impression of a central bank that is prepared to be patient, waiting too long also presents dangers.” Back to the UK, construction PMI for March are scheduled to come out on Thursday, with consensus expecting the figure to rise to 55 from 53.3 in February.

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