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FTSE follows US, Asian market higher

The FTSE started the day stronger, building on a positive close on Wall Street caused by M&A news and a rally in Chinese markets prompted by a relaxation of infrastructure funding. More domestic M&A activity for Smith & Nephew and Compass group also helped the index’s performance.

A change in China’s key policy on funding of local government infrastructure projects triggered a healthy bounce across the country’s stock markets with the Shanghai Composite Index closing 2.58% higher on the day. A few bellicose comments from President Trump directed at China were mostly ignored by investors who expect the US and Chinese presidents to meet at the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan later this month and make headway on the stalled trade talks. 

The rally in Asian stocks spilled onto other European markets too, boosting the DAX by over 1% as the German index is heavily dependent on exports to Asia.

UK jobless data to colour sterling trade

UK jobless data will set the tone for sterling trade, helping the pound find direction after it traded nearly flat against the dollar late Monday. There was surprisingly little movement in the currency after the Bank of England’s chief economist Michael Saunders said that the central bank may have to raise interest rates sooner than the markets expected. Instead politics is moving onto centre stage with the Tory party leadership contest starting in earnest now that the deadline for nominations has expired. In this context, more volatility is almost a given.

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