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Hong Kong bill impact dampened by US holidays

Just as phase one of the US-China trade deal came within reach Sino-US relations are about to deteriorate after President Donald Trump signed a bill supporting protesters in Hong Kong, thus angering China. The timing of it - late Wednesday just as the US was about to break off for Thanksgiving - could have been chosen with an eye on the markets because the impact on Wall Street won't be visible until US traders fully come back on Monday morning. For the time being Asian markets are sliding, Europe has opened lower and US stock futures are also printing weaker numbers.

FTSE lower despite property firms' rally

In London UK home builders rallied across the board, as did British Land and United Utilities. A stronger sterling played a key role here helped by polls showing a firm Conservative lead going into December. But the higher home builder share prices were not enough to offset the declines by Vodafone and specialist metals firm Johnson Matthey.

Pound firms on poll data

Polls have been indicating a Conservative lead over Labour since this UK election race started, so not much change there, but what is new is the latest estimated size of the lead. According to YouGov Boris Johnson could end up with a 68-seat majority in Parliament with the Conservatives expected to win 359 seats while Labour would gain only 211 and Liberals 13. Sterling rallied 0.2% against the dollar before losing ground slightly in early trading this morning.

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