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Current Futures: Dow +3.00, S&P +0.60, NASDAQ +0.50

European markets continued to advance during the overnight session, similar to the Asian and the U.S. sessions. S&P futures picked up momentum during the European session, and are once again testing the 945.00 resistance area. 

Commodity stocks continued to push the equity markets higher tonight. Despite the country’s political problems, the U.K.’s Ftse was pushed higher by raw material companies, which posted very strong gains after it was announced that Rio Tinto had scrapped its deal with China’s Chinalco, but instead will form an alliance with rival company BHP Billiton. Moreover, Rio announced that it would raise up to $15.2 billion in right issues.

The shares of both Rio and BHP Billiton surged on the U.K.’s Ftse this morning, advancing more than 10% from the start of trading. The two companies are set to create one of the largest mining companies in the world, which would also have a strategic impact on the Asian region, since many countries rely on metals exported from Australia, TheLFB-Forex.com Trade Team said. 

The U.K. government seems to be heading rapidly toward very big problems. Only a few weeks after the U.K.’s outlook was turned negative by the rating agencies, more voices are calling for Gordon Brown’s resignation, including former members of his own cabinet. On Thursday, the third member of the government resigned and was the first member of Gordon Brown’s party to call publicly for his resignation. This certainly creates more instability in the U.K., which was hit very hard by the credit crisis. To some extent, the pound fell victim to these political pressures, since it was the worst performer over the last period of trading. TheLFB-Forex.com Trade Team notes that the U.K. might end up losing its triple-A rating if political problems persist. 

Overnight, the Japanese Nikkei added 99.05 points (1.02%) to 9,768.01. The Australian S&P/Asx advanced 36.60 points (0.93%) to 3,971.20. The U.K. Ftse rose 67.86 points (1.55%) to 4,454.80, while the German Dax gained 28.47 points (0.56%) to 5,093.27

Crude oil for July delivery was recently trading at $69.10 per barrel, higher by $0.30.

Gold for July delivery was recently trading higher by $0.10 to $981.20.

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