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FTSE slides on Asia, Wall Street cues

The FTSE has started the day in negative territory taking its cue from a weakening in Asian markets and a subdued close on Wall Street. BAE Systems is among the lead fallers as the company struggles to push through its plans to build a new production site in Cheshire but Unilever is pulling higher following a report showing a growth in sales. The volumes are thinner than usual as traders prepare for a four-day Easter weekend which will see markets reopen on Tuesday.

Farage’s Brexit party in the lead for European elections

In a development that must have European leaders eating their hats, Nigel Farage’s Brexit party has surged in the polls as the clear leader to win in European elections. The party which was only formed in January, has overtaken Labour, Conservatives and UKIP as the likely winner. Whether related or not, the pound, which has been the barometer of all things Brexit, is nudging lower against the dollar this morning, heading for the $1.300 line.

Pinterest IPOs at $19 a share  

Showing that investors’ appetite for tech stocks is not abating, social media site Pinterest IPOed in New York yesterday at a price of $19 a share, up from an initial range of $15 to $17. The site, which operates mainly based on picture postings, has managed to raise $1.43 billion in its IPO offering and will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange later Thursday.

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