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FTSE slips on thin trade

The FTSE is trading lower on unimpressive volumes with the session quieter than usual because of the US markets holiday. 

Shares in NMC Health have dropped another 4% this morning as investors try and work out the realistic price for the beleaguered health operator. BAE Systems provided some counterbalance to the fallers as various flash points in the Middle East remain active.
Home builders also ticked higher following a report that UK house prices rose an uncharacteristic 2.3% in the month to January 11, signalling buyers’ optimism after the UK election. But the pound slipped below $1.30 again and traded lower against the dollar, unimpressed with the progress of the EU-UK trade negotiations.

Libya talks and the oil price 

While the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has managed to gather the biggest international players involved in the conflict in Libya in Berlin this weekend, including Russia’s President Putin and the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to discuss a resolution of the conflict in the country, back on the ground armed forces cut off a pipeline to the largest oil field in Libya. 

Brent Crude and WTI are both trading higher this morning after the National Oil Corporation declared force majeure but it would be too early to count the lost barrels of production given that political discussions will play a role in when the oil flow will come back on line. This is also how stock investors interpreted the news resulting in BP and Shell prices ticking higher only temporarily before sliding soon after the market opened.


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