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The morning after

The morning after a long night in Brussels the FTSE is trading close to the flat line while the pound is marginally weaker against the dollar and the euro. After hours of debate over a dinner going cold in Brussels EU leaders granted the UK six more months to leave the bloc and to work out how it wants to do it.  

Although the new deadline invited a lot of bad trick or treat jokes as it falls on Halloween there was actually little cause for laughter. For businesses the extension will mean six more months of pain in which political uncertainty will continue to paralyse investment decisions. It also won’t be good news for the pound as the political limbo t continues to erode the economy.

The FTSE has inched lower with ex-dividend trading adding to the general weakness over Brexit. Insurers are leading the move lover, notably Standard Aberdeen which is trading down 5.4%.

One glimmer of light is the higher consumer inflation numbers from China indicating that the slowdown in the domestic economy may have been stemmed for the moment.

Brent slips from year’s high

With Brexit in the front line, news about the deteriorating situation in Libya is getting less attention but the escalating conflict in the oil-rich North African country is pushing prices to the highest level this year. This morning oil is trading down 0.54% from yesterday’s close of trading in New York but Brent crude is trading firmly above $71.30.
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