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FTSE boosted by US corporate reporting

European markets have a spring in their step this morning, boosted by record high closes on Wall Street where Citigroup kicked off the latest US earnings season. The bank will be followed by peers JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo before tech giants take up centre stage later this week including Netflix, Amazon and Alphabet. 

Pound remains weak with signs of more Brexit strife

The pound struggled overnight, slipping 0.5% but recovered some ground this morning to trade at $1.2519. The bigger picture remains unchanged for the currency: the protracted Conservative leadership battle, the uncertainty over Brexit and the weakening of the economy coupled with the prospect of lower rates are combining to keep the currency under pressure. 

The latest challenge to the next PM by activist lawyer Gina Miller over a potential attempt to override Parliament on no-deal Brexit makes it abundantly clear that the next incumbent in 10 Downing Street will not find it any easier to get an agreement on Brexit than Theresa May did.

The euro was fairly stable, moving very little as investors held back ahead of the European Central Bank meeting next week.

Oil prices are still slipping a little, WTI more so than Brent, as the market settles back down following tropical storm Barry. Look out for either speculative trading or geopolotical news for the next impetus.

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