FTSE weakens in countdown to poll

Pre-election tensions are running high, not only  in the UK political arena but also in the markets. The FTSE opened a fraction higher but then slipped into the red as more UK-focused stocks such as Auto Trader Group, Hargreaves Landsdown and Barratt Development lost ground.

The top faller, however, was JD Sports. The firm’s largest shareholder Pentland Group sold around 24 million shares in the company causing a wider selloff that resulted in a 9.16% decline in the share price. Firmer share prices for miners and pharma companies slowed down the FTSE’s decline.

Pound nudges lower on doubts over a clear win


Less than 24 hours to go until the polling stations open and the pound is losing a little bit of ground to the dollar. Last minute headlines have slightly eroded the Conservative lead over Labour, bringing with it the prospect of a hung Parliament, and lurking in the shadows, the implied deadlock over Brexit.

Oil corrects slightly while Aramco soars at IPO

Brent crude has moved up to trade in a slightly higher channel since the OPEC meeting last week but this morning prices have slipped to the bottom of the new range, just above $64.

The long-awaited listing of Saudi Arabia’s Aramco on the Riyadh stock exchange went with a bang as shares soared and reached their 10% daily limit early in the session. For the moment Aramco will play a positive role for oil prices but the bigger crunch will come next week when the US has to decide on new China tariffs.

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