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FTSE higher, tracks US indexes

The FTSE and other European gauges started the day higher buoyed by record high closures on Wall Street on Boxing Day. The tech heavy Nasdaq breached the 9,000 level, helping bring up its total gain this year to 36%. President Trump’s comments about the pending deal with China, which now just awaits a final signing ceremony, helped the index hop over the key level.

Commodities gain on Chinese industrial data

Chinese industrial data helped boost oil and gold prices as it showed that industrial companies returned to growth in November.  In the year-to-date China’s industrial profits slipped a total of 2.1% and in October alone profits fell 9.9%. However as the government stepped in with supportive policies the effects started being felt in November when industrial profits rose 5.4% on the year.

Pound rallies despite signs of retail slowdown

The pound is still enjoying the post-election, pre-Brexit moment of quiet and has rallied 0.58% against the dollar at the start of the London trading day. As MPs like the rest of the country recover from the food and drink excesses of Christmas there is little news flow other than Boris Johnson’s plans to locate some of the new government agencies promised in his election manifesto outside of London. Life is also beginning to return to the UK high street although early Boxing Day retail numbers show that shopping on the first day  of sales has been far more muted than in previous years.

 

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