FTSE seen opening higher

By @ibtimes on

The FTSE 100 <.FTSE> index is seen opening up 17-18 points, or 0.4 percent higher on Monday, according to financial bookmakers, rallying after falls in the previous session as investors focus on an agreement to form a new Greek unity government intent on avoiding an imminent debt default by the country.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and opposition leader Antonis Samaras have agreed on a new coalition government to approve a crucial European Union bailout plan, which requires painful fiscal reform, before elections.

Papandreou and Samaras had been scrambling to reach a deal before finance ministers of euro countries meet in Brussels later on Monday, to show that Greece is serious about taking steps needed to stave off bankruptcy.

Global financial markets have been under significant pressure on fears that the EU plan would fail to save the country from defaulting and stop the sovereign debt crisis from spreading to other countries in the euro zone.

Europe appears to have taken the news over the weekend in Greece with some positive light after a volatile week last week and U.S. markets did finish from their low on Friday which suggests a better open this morning, said Nam Truong, Junior Dealer at Capital Spreads.

The UK blue chip index closed down 18.48 points, or 0.3 percent on Friday at 5,527.16, recording its first weekly loss since late September.

U.S. blue chips <.DJI> ended 0.5 percent lower on Friday, although that was well above session lows, and although Asian equity markets were lower on Monday, commentators pointed out that with many trading centres on holiday, including India, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore, price actions may not necessarily be all that representative given thin volumes.

Domestic investors will also be focussed ahead to the latest Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee meeting, due on Thursday.

Economists expect the BoE to hold its historically low interest rate of 0.5 percent and, after it announced an extra 75 billion pounds ($120 billion) of quantitative easing in October, they do not expect the Bank to increase the target for its asset purchases at its November meeting.

Ahead of that meeting, October's Halifax house prices survey will give a snapshot of the British housing market at 8 a.m. on Monday.

Across the Atlantic, only October's U.S. employment index will be released during the London session, at 3 p.m., with September consumer credit figures due at 8 p.m.

(Reporting by Jon Hopkins; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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