FTSE higher as China strikes more concilatory tone

A slightly more conciliatory tone from China regarding its bubbling trade dispute with the US has given markets some respite and European markets moved higher this morning, shrugging off a banking scandal brewing in Denmark.

A slightly more conciliatory tone from China regarding its bubbling trade dispute with the US has given markets some respite and European markets moved higher this morning, shrugging off a banking scandal brewing in Denmark.

Although the US and China will still go ahead with the next set of tariffs, from next week both countries will lower the duties they will impose on imports; the US will charge 10% rather than the initially planned 25% while China will respond with tariffs of between 5% and 10% depending on the product. Asian markets clearly liked the news and both the Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite finished the day up 1.1%.

Danske Bank embroiled in money laundering scandal

European shares were also trading higher after an almost flat open despite news that Danske Bank’s chief executive is about to leave the company because of money laundering allegations. The Danish bank, which has subsidiaries across Scandinavia and the Baltic countries and is a sizeable investor in Eastern Europe and Russia, discovered that its Estonian branch was used for suspicious transactions from 2007 and 2015. The bank’s shares were down 4.4% early.

Kingfisher struggles with French profit

Kingfisher shares are taking a beating this morning, trading down 6.71%. The UK home improvement retail chain came under pressure not only because its half year profits fell by 15% but also because a key executive who was meant to spearhead a rebranding and unification of the company’s operations in different countries over a period of five years left after three years on the job. The company is spread over UK, France and Poland and is struggling to enthuse its French customers with the same DIY fervour as the Brits. While its UK operations B&Q and Screwfix are still turning in profits its Castorama and Brico Depot chains in France had a 30% decline in profits. The company said that this was due to higher costs and the weather but also that customer perception of Castorama was not where it needed to be.


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