The FTSE 100 made a strong start on Wednesday ahead of the latest news on US interest rates.
The Fed is widely expected to deliver what could be its final rate hike in this cycle of 25 basis points so barring any big shock on that score, the focus will fall on the comments which accompany the decision.
AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “Confirmation that rates will be put on hold after today, while largely anticipated in the market, could nonetheless give sentiment a bit of a boost. The reverse, on the other hand, could really knock confidence.
“The continuing sell-off in US regional banks highlights to the Fed the risks of stretching the financial system to breaking point if it remains in hawkish mode.
“All the while the threat of a debt ceiling crisis in Washington looms over everything. There have been panics like this before and everything has ultimately been resolved at the eleventh hour. Some sort of fudge remains the most likely outcome.
“Still, a highly partisan political backdrop across the Atlantic means the risk of the US defaulting on its debts is possibly as high as it’s ever been.”