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Corporate news lifts FTSE

The FTSE is higher this morning despite a weaker close on Wall Street as domestic corporate news boosts market sentiment. Vodafone led the gainers with a nearly 8% rally in shares after the company announced plans to create a separate European tower company to be spun off in an IPO in the next 18 months.

Miners declined led by Anglo American which lost 5% on news that the company’s biggest shareholder, Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, plans to sell his stake.

It has been a mixed after-hours session in the US after Amazon and Google parent Alphabet reported earnings. It seems that expectations are everything and because expectations for Alphabet’s earnings were so low the company’s shares surged 9% after it reported better-than-expected results. The plan for a $25 billion buyback also helped. In contrast, Amazon said it increased its profits on the year but results came below forecasts, causing the company’s shares to slide 1% overnight.

Two days into Boris Johnson’s arrival in office and the new PM is beginning to look at the state purse but may not end up liking what he sees there. According to a junior minister the government is planning an emergency budget in the early autumn to try and jump start the UK economy which, apart from much better employment figures, has been sputtering on all other accounts. The pound is struggling across the board, weaker against the dollar and the euro, unconvinced just yet that it will be easy to turn the UK economy around.

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