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FTSE flirts with the flat line

The FTSE is trying to decide whether to move in any direction or trade flat in a day that will be quieter than usual because of holidays in the US. However, before Wall Street closed down early Wednesday all three major indices closed at new highs fueled by expectations that the Fed will cut rates later in July.

In London, ex-dividend trading caused British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines and Coca-Cola shares to lose more than 7% while a steady flow of buy orders lifted Vodafone and Sainsbury. The latter rallied by association after Associated British Foods posted a 3% increase in revenue, mainly from the ingredients business. But clothing chain Primark, which is also part of AB Foods, saw a decline in clothes sales because of the unseasonably overcast June.

US job reports in focus when US markets reopen

The US non-farm payrolls jobs report is due early Friday after the US markets reopen and investors are counting on a substantial number of jobs being created in June. However, the US Treasuries yield curve is again showing an inversion which is typically a harbinger of an economic downturn in the US.

The pound is trading a touch higher but is still close to a two-week low caused by the BoE’s unexpected turn on interest rates, indicating that it might cut rates rather than raise them.

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