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FTSE higher in Brexit breather

The FTSE is nudging higher taking its cue from an uptick in Asian stock markets but also benefiting from a respite in Brexit news and the slightly weaker pound. Insurers are leading the way higher as are several services companies, helped by a slightly weaker pound. With Parliament in recess until after Easter and the Brexit deadline rolled into October sterling implied volatility has dropped to the lowest level in 16 months. The currency is struggling to hold its ground against the euro and the dollar ahead of the release of Germany’s ZEW index and US production data.

US bank results underwhelm so far, more to come

In the US bank results will be in focus again Tuesday following underwhelming earnings from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs yesterday. Looking at the bigger picture this is the first quarter since 2016 that is expected to show overall weaker results across a number of US industries as hints of higher wages and in some areas declining demand work their way through the system. The earnings merry-go-round continues later today with earnings from Bank of America and Morgan Stanley.  

Airlines facing a tough quarter as fuel prices rise

Airlines have been feeling the pinch of rising oil prices which combined with overcapacity in Europe and stiff competition is eroding earnings. Releasing its results Lufthansa said that almost two thirds of its EUR300 million quarterly loss was attributable to higher fuel costs. The subsequent 5% drop in the company’s share price triggered a Europe-wide decline in airline shares, not sparing British Airways parent ICA and easyJet
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