Weaker pound helps lift FTSE

A weaker pound is helping lift several FTSE heavy weights this morning as are comments from China left a small door open for the US to resume trade talks with the country.

A weaker pound is helping lift several FTSE heavy weights this morning as are comments from China left a small door open for the US to resume trade talks with the country. However US-China relations could shortly become more complicated as the US is now looking to add Chinese video-surveillance companies to the list of blacklisted entities.

UK packaging companies are three of the top five FTSE gainers this morning while on the other end of the scale Marks & Spencer is sliding to the bottom of the index as the cost of its restructuring programme deals a heavy blow to the chain’s profits.

Pound slides ahead of European elections

The day before European elections sterling is weaker against the dollar and the euro is losing ground against the greenback. Thursday’s elections will provide MP’s with a key signal on which tack to take on Brexit going forward, particularly now that Theresa May’s position seems to be hanging in the balance. The pound briefly spiked against the dollar at the close of equity trading Tuesday but is now trading within a narrow channel, weaker than at any point this month.

Crude oil notches lower

Brent crude is trading below $72 this morning having lost ground overnight. Tensions in the Gulf and OPEC’s plans to cut production are keeping prices close to their highest level in six months but the rise is being balanced out by the escalating US-China trade war.

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