As we approached the end of the trading day the FTSE 100 was up 35 points at 5826.
Black Friday in the US and Cyprus: the annual deep-discount sales went under way across the pond, while the smaller island nation hung on the verge of a bailout. In the grand scheme of things the Cyprus bailout won't have a major impact on the markets, but it just goes to show you how contagious the debt crisis is. The old Cypriot pound was even stronger than sterling, but now the country is bankrupt in yet another blow for the single currency. As always we are looking towards Germany to pay the bills.
Strong German IFO figures are leading equities higher, after a few hours of tip-toeing around the 5800 level traders managed to bulldoze their way through it. Greece remains in the frame; talks are moving in the right direction but the IMF is still holding out on the next tranche until the country can fill in the €10 billion funding gap. Nobody expects the talks to be a piece of cake but very few think the Troika will allow the country to go bust.
The US market has reopened after the Thanksgiving holiday – and with stocks are up 0.7% so far, it would appear that traders are just as eager to buy as the shoppers who are frantically snapping up bargains in the malls around the country.