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FTSE higher despite airline woes

Unlike its European peers, which are all sliding this morning, the FTSE started the post-holiday week in positive territory thanks to an increase in oil prices and a rally in the oil majors. In contrast, airlines stocks are under pressure as news unfolds that French pilots may walk out in protest in May over a change in legislation, potentially disrupting Air France and EasyJet flights.

Chinese policy makers’ plans to tweak the country’s monetary policy has sent China’s main stock markets into a downward spiral on fears that the government might withdraw some of the financial support that has fueled a 30% rally in stock markets this year. Some of the correction was probably overdue but it will now warrant watching developments closely to see if this just slows down stocks growth or brings them to a screeching halt. 

Oil at 2019 high

Oil prices hit their highest level this year after the US decided to tighten sanctions on Iran from next month. Major oil importers such as China, India and Japan currently hold waivers on Iranian imports, but those waivers will not be renewed when they expire in May, which could cause problems for oil buyers given that the market is already tighter than usual because of OPEC cuts and disruptions in Venezuela, Nigeria and Libya. Brent crude is up 0.58% this morning at $74.48 and WTI is above $66.

Sterling drifts below $1.3

Now that the Easter holiday is over political heat is expected to start building again and begin putting sterling under renewed pressure.The pound is showing a distinct lack of optimism, having slipped over the last few days below the $1.300 which once was the “no-deal” Brexit marker.


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