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Tensions easing

Asia markets responded positively to an easing of US-China trade tensions and better-than-expected trade data from China, whose exports were up 3.3% in July, and to a resumption by Japan of some semiconductor manufacturing materials to South Korea. The Nikkei was up 0.6%, the Hang Seng Index 0.4% and the Shanghai Composite up 0.7%.

US shares presented a mixed picture, affected by global trade fears, currency wars and talk of a possible recession. The S&P500 rose 0.1%, the Nasdaq was up 0.4%, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1%.

Europe positive

The Euro strengthened 0.17% against the dollar, while sterling, currently at 1.21 against the dollar, is expected to continue its slide, as fears of a no-deal Brexit intensify. European shares, after more than three days of losses, were all positive, led by the CAC40, on expectations of third-quarter growth for the French economy.  

In London, Hargreaves Lansdown shares topped the FTSE 100, gaining 3.57%, on a strong half-year report. The FTSE 100 benchmark laggards were led by BT Group, Lloyds Banking Group and Coca Cola HBC.

Oil futures jumped on expectations that Opec producers would cut production. Brent crude jumped 2.7% to $57.75 a barrel, while WTI crude was up 2.96% to $52.60.

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