Trade threats hit European markets

It has not been a good start to the week for the FTSE, caught on the back foot after the US-China trade relations talks started to deteriorate again and the US threatened to double the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods potentially as soon as this Friday.

It has not been a good start to the week for the FTSE, caught on the back foot after the US-China trade relations talks started to deteriorate again and the US threatened to double the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods potentially as soon as this Friday. 

The US-China one-step-forward-two-step-back hurt US markets late Monday and extended into Asian and European trading. The DAX initially held up helped by data showing that German manufacturing orders picked up in March but it eventually crumbled because China trade.

Lira is back on centre stage

The Turkish currency has come back onto investors’ radars for all the wrong reasons, plunging 3% this morning because of election turmoil in the country. The currency weakened to the lowest level in seven months with the dollar trading at 6.1976 lira after the country’s controversial President Erdogan annulled election results in Istanbul where his party lost.

Sterling nearly flat

Pound traders are still chewing over the results of last week's local elections which have caused the Conservatives to lose a large number of seats and brought a lesser loss for Labour. There is currently not much to fill the void of political news flow and sterling is trading with very little volatility and within a narrow range but this could be only the calm before the storm which could start playing out before the summer. For the moment though the pound is marginally weaker against the dollar and flat against the euro.

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