Trade tensions and political flux set the tone for FTSE

Lingering trade tensions and the intensifying battle for the Tory leadership is colouring the trading sentiment in London this morning and the troubles at Neil Woodford’s investment fund are adding to the weight.

Lingering trade tensions and the intensifying battle for the Tory leadership is colouring the trading sentiment in London this morning and the troubles at Neil Woodford’s investment fund are adding to the weight.

Hargreaves Lansdown shares have slipped to the bottom of the FTSE having lost over 5% after the fund supermarket and trading firm removed the Neil Woodford Equity Investment Fund from its best buy list. The fund had banned investors from withdrawing their money. Property developers and delivery services are also trading lower amid a more general cautiousness which is likely to persist while the leadership of the Tory party and the country remains in a state of flux.

Sterling flat after early blip

The pound initially popped higher this morning but then fell back to almost unchanged against the dollar and slightly weaker against the euro, reflecting weakness in the UK’s economic figures. The UK manufacturing PMI has started shrinking with export orders dropping at their fastest pace since late 2014. Other data is showing that EU buyers are beginning to shun UK goods in reaction to Brexit plans.

Oil market awaits trade news

Oil prices are back at below $61 following a blip higher yesterday and seem to be confined to a relatively narrow channel. Against the background of uncertainty over US tariffs on China, Mexico and now possibly India, the market is waiting for new clues before making any decisive trade moves.

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