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China trade concerns back on the agenda

Concerns about the stalled US-China trade talks are creeping back into the markets pulling down indices across Europe. On Wall Street, all three major indices closed lower as companies most exposed to China shouldered significant losses. The DAX, which is more exposed to China trade than other European gauges, has lost 0.9% this morning.

The FTSE is also heading lower with the biggest declines sustained by miners, oil producers and utilities.  Metals producers are in a particularly weak position when it comes to China trade issues because the country buys more than half of most of the world’s base metals.

Pub chain and easyJet lead gainers off main index

The runaway gainer on the FTSE 250 is pub owner EI Group which rose nearly 40% after the company accepted a GBP1.3 billion takeover from Stonegate Pub, the owner of the Slug & Lettuce chain. Budget airline easyJet, which has last month lost its position in the FTSE 100, is also gaining ground as it reported an 11% increase in revenue in the third quarter.

Sterling stabilises as dollar loses ground 

Having dipped below $1.24 on Wednesday, sterling is slightly more stable this morning, trading at $1.2474. However, the move higher has more to do with some weakness in the dollar than any reasons for the pound to firm. The dollar is weaker against most majors, dragged down partially by lower yields on Treasuries and renewed concerns over the China-US trade tensions.

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