FTSE lower as oil firm reports loss

Markets are lower as a potential opportunity for the US and China to talk at the sidelines of the APEC meeting in November has slipped out of hand. Chile was meant to host the APEC summit and a climate change conference but has to cancel both events after anti-government protests flared into violence. 

Royal Dutch Shell profits in the last quarter dropped 15%, not particularly unexpected given that the oil prices in the third quarter mainly traded lower. 

This week’s data shows that the US economy has slowed down a touch from 2% to 1.9% in the last quarter, and Euro-zone is expected to show only 0.1% in the last quarter, down from 0.2% in the second. At this pace of growth oil prices are unlikely to return to the highs seen earlier this year. 

Lloyds shares dropped 1.5% after the company said that the PPI charge wiped out the bank’s profit for the quarter. However, the latest £1.8 billion PPI provision should now be the last one the bank will need to set aside as the deadline for the PPI claims was in August.

Finally some clarity for the currency markets. A date for the general election has been set for 12 December and the election machinery of all the major parties is gearing up to go. The pound is up nearly 0.3% against the dollar and 0.10% against the euro partially in relief that the no-deal Brexit is now off the table. However, underlying UK economic data  remains less than inspiring with consumer sentiment slipping to the lowest level since 2013.

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