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Halma and Intertek lift FTSE

The FTSE has rallied over 1% this morning boosted by some election optimism and pulled higher by hazard detection equipment maker Halma and assurer Intertek.

European car manufacturers are enjoying a moderate rally following data showing that EU consumers’ love of new cars has not abated despite Brexit, the slowing economy and shifting political landscape in the European Union. It has in fact risen to the highest level in ten years. VW, Peugeot, Renault and Daimler are all trading higher as are oil firms.

Easyjet surprises with results

Budget airline Easyjet surprised with a rise in full year pretax profit and forward bookings for next year which are slightly exceeding this year’s level. However, once the extra items are stripped the picture is closer to that seen in the airline industry over the last few years: slowly declining consumer confidence, rising costs and reduced revenue per seat. Still, the airline may be able to make up for some of the decline with the launch of its package holiday business planned before Christmas which will step into the space left by the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Sterling flat ahead of TV debate

Sterling is trading nearly flat against the dollar and the euro after hitting a six month high against the latter yesterday. Boris Johnson’s strong lead in the polls and the implied benefits for businesses if he manages to establish a parliamentary majority made the pound the strongest performing G-10 currency Monday. Today the market has turned a little quieter, trying to assess if all of the upside has already been counted in. Later this evening Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will go head to head in a television debate, expected to make many spending promises that may later be difficult to see through because of the state of the UK economy and slower global growth.

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