FTSE 100 opens a touch higher as US trade war concerns rekindle

FTSE 100 opened up 0.1% at 7,798.15 despite a stronger close in the US markets Wednesday on renewed concerns over a US trade war and ahead of UK retail data.

In the US President Donald Trump initiated an enquiry into car imports into the US which could eventually see tariffs being introduced which would affect European car imports.

In Asian, the Nikkei 225 closed down 1.1% at 22,437.01 while the Hang Seng was flat at 30,671.63.

Ahead of the retail data the pound traded a touch higher against the dollar, up 0.15% at 1.3371, but it weakened against the euro by 0.11% to 1.1399.

Mediclinic International lead the fallers on opening, dropping 5.36% to 642.80 as the company reported a full-year net loss caused by impairment charges on its property in Switzerland and a separate impairment charge against Spire Healthcare in which Mediclinic holds a nearly 30% stake. The company’s pretax profit was down to £479 million from a £307 million profit last year.

Kingfisher shares were also under pressure in early trade and fell 2.13% to 289.10. The home improvement retailer’s sales fell 4% in the first quarter as bad weather earlier in the year impacted footfall from UK customers. The company, the owner of B&Q in the U.K. and Castorama in France, has started its next set of buybacks and will purchase a total of £50 million shares.

Daily Mail and General Trust shares were also among the fallers this morning despite good results where the company said that its pretax profit in the first half of this year doubled, boosted by stronger business-to-business sales. However, overall revenue fell 6.1% to £745.8 million and the board decided against paying out an interim dividend of 7.1 pence a share. Shares fell 2.2% after the company’s earnings report.

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