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FTSE struggles to trade higher

The FTSE is a fraction higher this morning but the index is really struggling to remain in positive territory with the weaker pound working in favour of large export-orientated industrials, but expectations of 0% UK growth this year are dampening sentiment. 

The lingering trade dispute between the US and China and the fresh flare up in the Middle East are not helping overall sentiment in London and are only being balanced out by rallies from miners and equipment rental firm Ashtead.

The pound is almost flat-lining after it dipped to 1.2522 against the dollar overnight. The confidence in the currency is gradually being eroded by the limbo at the top of the Conservative party and signs that the economy is continuing to slow. 

The dollar is also losing ground, having already sloped down late Monday, with weak US manufacturing data sapping the energy out of the currency ahead of the FOMC meeting Wednesday. 

Oil lower despite building tensions between Iran and US 

For the moment oil prices are on the slide but given the powder keg that is the Middle East this may not last long. Following the two tanker attacks in the Strait of Hormuz last week the US President is sending an additional 1,000 troops into the region arguing that this is for the safety of US personnel on the ground.

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