What had been shaping up to be a decent little session unravelled as Friday went on, a negative start from the Dow Jones ensuring the European indices couldn’t get back their initial growth.
The ongoing government shutdown in the US, as well as Starbucks-refreshed concerns surrounding the Chinese economy, contributed to the Dow’s 130 point decline, one that caused it to fall from the 3 week-plus, 24000 highs struck during Thursday’s session.
Already losing enthusiasm around lunchtime, the European indices found themselves stuck in the red following the Dow’s drop. The DAX dipped 0.1%, with the CAC falling 0.3%; the FTSE, meanwhile, slipped under 6920 as it lost 10 or so points.
The FTSE’s decline could have been a lot greater, however. BP (LON:BP) and Shell (LON:RDSa) are in a bad mood as Brent Crude shed 1%, its banking stocks are looking tired, and AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) continued a rubbish week, falling back below £58.
On top of all that sterling continued to make the most of a (denied) report in the Evening Standard claiming that Article 50 could be extended, a move that would in theory lessen the chance of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Against the dollar it rose half a percent, pushing cable above $1.28, while against the euro it surged 0.7% to tickle €1.116.
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