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Caution is king

London stock markets opened flat, still cautious after Wall Street recovered from sharp losses on the previous day, thanks to efforts by the US and China to de-escalate trade tensions. UK asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen, reported a 5% first-half increase in assets, but slipped to the bottom of the FTSE 100 with its shares losing just over 4%. A similar loss for Glencore, which has had a tough year so far, with possible fines from regulators of as much as $8bn ahead.

Life and pensions consolidator Phoenix Group was top of the gainers on FTSE 100, gaining 1.49% on the back of strong first half results. InterContinental Hotels posted a rise in half-year profit yesterday and raised its dividend.

Recession fears

European stock markets were up this morning, while German industrial production slumped 1.5% in June, against expectations of 0.4%. Surveys suggest the German economy is heading for a further contraction in July, raising fears that Europe’s biggest economy may be heading for a recession.  

Asian markets recovered some balance after China’s central bank moved to soothe market sentiment by setting a daily reference point for the yuan at 6.9996 per the dollar, just shy of the key level of 7 per dollar.

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