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Ex-dividend trading hits FTSE

The FTSE is sliding this morning as a frenzy of ex-dividend selling is hitting banking and insurance shares and as lower commodity prices weigh on mining and oil stocks. 

A sharp decline in German factory orders is pushing other European gauges into the red but the decline is being tampered by signals of progress in the US-China trade talks which are about to go into a new three-day round in Washington.

The high-pitch of the Brexit drama continues this morning with MPs voting by a majority of one in favour of a motion that will require the Prime Minster to ask the EU for an extension of the Brexit deadline. Sterling bounced higher immediately after the news although the bill has yet to be approved by the Lords before it goes to Brussels for a final green light.  

Euro wavers after German orders plunge

The euro is being torn in two different directions with a delay in Brexit spelling good news for the common currency but the decline in German factory orders causing serious and more long-term concerns. The problem Germany’s industry is facing is of a global nature rather than to do with local frictions as by far the biggest slowdown in orders happened outside of the EU. 

Deutsche Bank-Commerzbank tie-up gets a new contender

UniCredit might step into the fray if the Deutsche Bank Commerzbank tie-up hits the skids. The Italian bank is reportedly preparing a bid which it plans to use only if Deutsche Bank fails. The ball is now in Commerzbank’s court and its board will discuss the options next week.
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