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FTSE toing and froing as future of Brexit deal remains uncertain

The FTSE is trying to work out which way to go this morning as a Brexit deal hangs in the balance. European bourses are even more cautious, trading only a notch above the flat line.

Although the EU and UK negotiators made significant progress in hammering out a workable Brexit deal over the last few days the Northern Ireland unionist party DUP said this morning that it will not back the proposal. The Prime Minister is heading to Europe for a crucial EU summit but whether or not he will be able to sign a deal later in the day remains unclear. The DUP’s rejection sank the pound by 0.5% to $1.2759 after it has been high for most of this week.

Brexit uncertainty is infusing London stock dealings with volatility, as is the lower close on Wall Street caused by some profit warnings and worse than expected economic data. Good Q3 sales growth and predictions of higher income for the full year helped both pest control firm Rentokill and consumer goods maker Unilever climb up the FTSE ranks.

Unilever moved higher after it reported a 2.4% increase in underlying Q3 sales of almost 3% and confirmed that it expects annual growth to be within its previously set multi-year range of between 3-5%.

Brent crude futures are still slipping among concerns over global economic growth and particularly China’s demand over the coming months. Brent futures are only marginally above $59, holding at this psychologically important level.

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