FTSE opens ahead as world markets cheered by US data

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The FTSE 100 has risen in early trades, joining other global stockmarkets that took heart at better-than-expected US retail sales numbers.

Data published yesterday by the US Commerce Department showed retail sales as increasing by 0.6 per cent in May, which is the biggest increase in three months and suggests continued resilience in the world’s largest economy, despite its fiscal tightening.

Asian markets closed higher last night, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 adding 241.14 points, or 1.94 per cent, to finish the session at 12,686.52 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also posted gains.

In the US, the S&P added 1.48 per cent to close at 1,636.36 and the Dow Jones rose 1.21 per cent to 15,176.08, with the Nasdaq flat at 3,445.37.

The FTSE 100 rose in early trades, up 36.85 points to 6,341.48 as of 1010 BST. Hammerson, Land Securities, British Land, Glencore Xstrata and Rio Tinto were the strongest risers after opening.

In the UK, investors are also waiting for the publication of construction output figures for April – which could increase the sense of optimism about the country’s economy given the recent run of good data.

AMP Capital Investors head of investment strategy Shane Oliver told Bloomberg: “You get good data plus reduced fear about a premature rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve, and that helped the US share market and that’s helping Japanese and Asian markets.

“Look at the underlying global growth dynamics and they remain favorable.”