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FTSE weaker as Evraz, ITV plunge

In a move that is fairly unusual, European markets are trading in a different direction from Wall Street - the FTSE and European markets are declining this morning, mostly from after-effects of the corona virus.

Russian steel maker Evraz is leading the FTSE fallers with an 11% decline. ITV also dropped nearly 9% after it said that it will lose at least 10% of its advertising income next month because travel firms are cancelling their ads.

Mining firms are also falling out of investors’ favour this morning on reports that China can’t sell all of the commodities it is currently producing and is instead building a large stockpile.

In a counterintuitive move, life and general insurer Aviva is moving higher, having posted a record profit for 2019. However, with coronavirus still spreading across Europe it may be too early to be bullish on a firm that will have to pay out significant amounts to cover travel insurance claims triggered by the coronavirus.

NMC Health, Kingfisher and TUI relegated to FTSE 250

The troubled health operator NMC Health is about to lose its place in the FTSE 100 as are holiday operator TUI and home-improvement chain Kingfisher. NMC’s shares are currently suspended from trading but once they restart trade they will be part of the FTSE 250. The three companies will be replaced by gold miner Fresnillo, Intermediate Capital Group and waste firm Pennon.

Pound notches higher on BOE comment

A Bank of England rate cut later this month may not be as done a deal as the market expected. The incoming governor Andrew Bailey told a Treasury Select Committee that he is waiting for more evidence on the impact of the coronavirus before casting his vote on the cut. Sterling perked up on the comment, notching higher overnight to $1.2915.

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