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FTSE up marginally as UK mulls constitutional crisis

The FTSE was trading up around 32 points in early trading this morning. MicroFocus International was leading a conservative rally in the index, following a big sell off in the shares yesterday. Other early gainers were NMC Health and Centrica, both up over 2% in early trade.

US markets pick up after conciliatory China comments

US markets were cautiously positive overnight, with their biggest one day showing in a fortnight (S&P up 1.27%). All eyes remain firmly on the developments in the Sino-US trade talks. No further reaction from Beijing has been forthcoming to the latest moves by the Trump administration.

Sterling takes a breather as UK opposition seeks debate

In the currency markets, traders were taking a breather after PM Boris Johnson prorogued Parliament earlier in the week. Sterling is currently holding its own against other currencies, but that will be just until further news flows out of Westminster.

Opposition leaders said they would be working over the weekend to develop their next move against a government that is seeking to keep Brexit debate time to an absolute minimum ahead of the UK scheduled exit on 31 October.

It is highly unlikely that Parliament and the increasingly cohesive opposition will roll over quietly, so expect more fireworks next week (the Labour party is already seeking an emergency debate). One strong possibility is a vote of no confidence in the government.

Silver is gathering speed

In the commodities markets silver has been picking up speed and outpacing gold in the last week or so, up 13% in August. This is partly being driven by ETF buying, in turn reflecting interest from investors in the silver market as stock markets look increasingly choppy.

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