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China's January olive branch

It seems that the phase one of the US-China trade deal is working as China said Monday that it plans to cut tariffs on imports including frozen pork and semiconductors from the beginning of the new year. European shares are still catching up mostly because the mulled wine is already flowing  but the FTSE has lifted up from an opening dip thanks to a spectacular rally in NMC Health shares.  

The war of words between due diligence firm and short seller Muddy Waters which accused the company of misstating debt and making unexplained investments has cost Abu Dhabi-based NMC a 52% drop in share price since early last week, but the health firm is now hoping to put the accusations to bed with an independent review. NMC Health is trading up 30% this morning but it still has some way to go to recover to the pre-Muddy Waters level.

Pound nudges lower

The pound is feeling some residual pressure from last week’s Bank of England rate meeting in which the bank left open the possibility to cut the cost of borrowing next year. With Andrew Bailey due to take over at the helm of the Bank in January there is further uncertainty over the BoE’s future course on interest rates. For the moment the pound is giving up ground to the dollar and the euro although volumes are already showing the signs of pre-holiday trading shrinkage.

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