FTSE up 0.58% ahead of inflation figures

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The FTSE 100 has advanced in early trades as investors await the latest set of inflation numbers from the Office for National Statistics and followed the gains seen in Asia.

As of 0846 BST, the blue-chip index was up 0.58 per cent to 6,612.69. Investors will closely examine inflation data published later in the morning, which are expected to show a slight fall year-on-year.

CMC Markets senior market analyst Michael Hewson says: “The analysis continues of last week’s departure by the Bank of England from its traditional monetary policy message of targeting the inflation numbers.

“While it is no secret that the policy has been largely neglected, today’s inflation numbers for July are nonetheless expected to be closely scrutinised for evidence of any abatement in pricing pressures.”

Life insurer Resolution led the FTSE’s early gainers after posting better-than-expected financial results for the first half of the year, followed by resources companies Fresnillio, Glencore Xstrata and Randgold Resources.

The Nikkei 225 posted a strong gain, closing 2.57 per cent ahead at 13,867 after reports suggested prime minister Shinzo Abe is considering lowering the country’s corporate tax rate in a bid ease the burden on Japanese companies.

Markets in Europe were also up this morning, with the Euro Stoxx 50 rising 0.52 per cent to 2,841.98 by 0846 BST and gains being seen in both the German Dax and the French Cac 40. A release later today is expected to show a rise in German confidence, which would bode well for the rest of the eurozone.