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MARKET WRAP: FTSE finishes higher, oil drops, Bitcoin surges

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Key Points

FTSE 100 closing price of 7,571.6 (+0.7%)
Flutter flies on National Lottery hopes
Oil falls as Iran talks resume
USD steady on quiet data day
Bitcoin surge continues after breaking key resistance levels

By Samuel Indyk – The FTSE 100 finished higher on Monday with miners continuing to perform well as the inflationary picture should continue to be a positive for metals prices.

Shares in Flutter Entertainment (LON:FLTRF) outperformed after details that the Paddy Power owner had written to the Gambling Commission to stress the importance of the National Lottery remaining in the hands of a UK-based firm. The final decision from the Gambling Authority is expected as soon as this month with suitors for the popular game including Czech firm Allwyn, the media mogul Richard Desmond, and the current holder Camelot.

WTI and Brent crude futures both edged lower on optimism that talks between Iran and world powers would potentially conclude with sanctions removed on Iranian oil exports. Talks are set to resume on Tuesday in Vienna with Iran calling for a removal of sanctions as a condition for the success of the talks. However, oil prices remain elevated after last week’s surge and the situation on Ukraine’s border with Russia continues to support prices.

The USD was steady following last week’s choppy trading action in the wake of the ECB monetary policy meeting and the US labour market report on Friday. This week, focus will turn to US CPI on Thursday.

GBP was little changed with GBP/USD trading above 1.35 following the latest house price data. Mortgage provider Halifax said house prices rose 0.3% MoM in January, the lowest monthly increase since June last year.

Bitcoin and most other major cryptocurrencies pushed higher after Bitcoin broke above major downtrend resistance and the psychological $40,000 mark on Friday. The gains continued on Monday with Bitcoin trading above the 50-day moving average for the first time since 18th November.

“Bitcoin hasn’t only weathered the recent storm, it’s managed to rally through a key resistance level and generate some decent upside momentum as well,” OANDA Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam said. “We’ve seen what bitcoin can do once it gets moving and while it’s still early days, there’s certainly reason to think the worst may be behind it. The next big test is $45,000.”


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MARKET WRAP: FTSE finishes higher, oil drops, Bitcoin surges

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