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FTSE lacks direction

The FTSE is barely showing signs of life this morning as the weekend plunge in oil prices is pushing and pulling some of the blue chips, notably airlines benefitting from the weaker price and oil producers sliding.

However, as the Brexit news front has gone fairly quiet most other stocks are waiting for a fresh signal of some sort. This signal could come from Wall Street later in the day as Nasdaq and the S&P 500 chalked up some highs on Friday following better than expected GDP numbers. Although economists had pegged US first quarter GDP at around 2.3% the actual rate turned out to be 3.2%, dispelling fears of an imminent economic slowdown in the US.

Trump precipitates another oil price plunge

Both Brent and WTI prices have been on a roll recently after the US made clear it would start implementing its Iran sanctions in a stricter manner from May, which would add to the already existing tightness in the oil market. However, after President Trump called once more for OPEC countries to raise output to prevent prices from moving any higher, the rally came to an abrupt halt and instead Brent crude prices plunged $4 over the weekend.

Euro stable after Spanish elections

The euro firmed very modestly against the dollar and lost slightly to the pound at the start of trade Monday after the general election in Spain was won by the centre-left PSOE party. The outcome was not much of a surprise as most polls showed a PSOE lead ahead of the vote. Sterling is also steady, notching higher against the dollar but almost flat against the euro.

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