Afternoon comment courtesy of Spreadex

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Ben Bernanke is due to continue his latest testimony today at 15:00 BST, and no doubt investors will be hoping for some significant developments regarding the Fed’s stance on monetary policy. Whilst Bernanke has already made clear that the central bank’s asset purchases are not on a pre-set course, policy makers are still debating the timing and pace of cuts in the central banks $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.  

Whilst certain topics still require further clarification, Bernanke has cited high unemployment and low inflation as areas that require improvement. The continuous stream of strong U.S earnings is helping to aid the belief that the U.S economy is on the path to recovery, reversing the trend of “bad news is good news” seen earlier this year. 

A bigger than expected rise in British retail sales has sent consumer service equities soaring, buoying the FTSE 100 during today’s session. Easyjet is seen leading the way after a JP Morgan upgrade, with WPP a close second gaining 2.9% after traders said the share benefited from news French peer Publicis was targeting the top end of organic growth forecasts.

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