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FTSE stagnant despite gains in Asia

The FTSE is barely changed at the start of the week, shrugging off gains in Asian stock markets and mostly tracking the pound’s flat trading. Asian markets initially dipped on weaker Chinese GDP data but perked up by the end of the session.

Apart from IT firm Micro Focus International most of the FTSE 100 losses are concentrated in the house building sector and among banks and insurers. Miners are holding the side up after overnight gains in gold, silver and copper prices. However, it has not been a good morning for FTSE 250-listed Sports Direct which plunged 15% after the company decided to delay the release of its results, arguing that the integration of the House of Fraser has slowed down the accounting process.

The pound is in a limbo, waiting for some more clarity on the political front and on Brexit. Conservative Party members have until this Sunday to cast their vote on Johnson versus Hunt with the final tally due to be released on 23 July.  But the tea leaves are not looking good for the pound as the currency has been declining for the last ten weeks straight.

Oil prices are also stagnant after tropical storm Barry blew over with far less damage than expected and production in the Gulf of Mexico is getting back to normal. However, it is too early for oil investors to relax as tensions in the other Gulf are still on the simmer

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