The FTSE bounced higher on opening but the rally didn’t last long and the index quickly dropped to trading almost unchanged. Amid the still spreading coronavirus China decided to cut tariffs on $75 billion of US goods including some medical products.
Some goods that are currently taxed at 10% will see a reduction to 5% and those currently with a 5% import tariff will only be charged 2.5%. Some US medical products that could be used to treat the virus will have their tariffs waived altogether. In London, GlaxoSmithKline shares dropped nearly 2.5% in early trade.
Royal Mail shares also struggled following the company’s warning on the outlook for 2020. Among the risers were banks and home improvement companies.
Europe strikes back
Brexit is done and dusted the EU is looking to impose tougher financial regulations on the City of London. The stricter set of rules known as MiFID II would roll back the regulatory concessions made while the UK was in the Union. The pound has slipped against the dollar and the euro on the news that could be the start of various measures the EU will take as it seeks to lessen the dominance of London in the European financial sector.