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Trade concerns, Brexit keep markets under pressure

The FTSE is weaker at the start of the week, reacting to renewed worries about the US-China trade negotiations which seem to have stalled again after comments from the leader of China’s trade delegation saying China is no longer willing to discuss certain issues brought up by the US.

HSBC’s decision to cut 10,000 jobs in order to reduce costs and help prop up share prices did not have quite the desired effect as early trade shaved off more than 1% of the company’s value, primarily because the bank remains exposed to several global flashpoints such as the US-China trade dispute, Brexit and Hong Kong protests.

German manufacturing trips up euro

The euro is a fraction weaker against the dollar after German data showed that the country’s manufacturing orders shrank again in August, bringing the overall annual decline to 6.7%. The numbers also increase the likelihood that the next set of German GDP data due out in November will show that the local economy has gone into recession.

However, the euro is slightly stronger against the pound courtesy of the unresolved Brexit talks. The PM is sending both encouraging and threatening signals to Brussels, indicating that he would be willing to make concessions to his Brexit plan but also saying that this is the final opportunity to secure a withdrawal agreement. Neither of those seem to be reassuring the markets. The pound slipped to 1.2311 against the dollar with trading stuck in a relatively narrow range as investors brace themselves for more volatility in the week ahead.


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