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Investors in Europe will inherit a solid lead from Asia where regional markets were buoyed by Wall Street’s advance to near-record levels.

Markets are also still basking in the glow of the result of the first round of France’s presidential race. Centrist Emmanuel Macron will face off against the far-right Marine Le Pen, with the former expected to triumph in the final vote on May 7.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 closed 0.6 per cent higher and is now sitting less than one-third of 1 percentage point away from a record high. Additionally, the Nasdaq Composite closed above 6,000 points for the first time ever.

The good mood has spilled over into Asia, where Japan’s Topix is up 1.1 per cent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200, returning from a public holiday, gained 0.8 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.6 per cent, while China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.4 per cent.

Futures tip London’s FTSE 100 and the S&P 500 to open roughly flat later today.

It is a relatively busy day on the earnings calendar, with results expected from: Credit Suisse, Santander, PSA Group, Boohoo, London Stock Exchange, GKN, Croda, Henderson, Jupiter Asset Management, Metro Bank, Tullow Oil, Standard Chartered, Fiat and GSK.

Here is today’s economic calendar (London times):

  • 07.00: UK Nationwide house prices
  • 07.45: France consumer confidence
  • 12.00: UK Prime Minister’s questions
  • 13.00: Turkey interest rates decision

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