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M & G crisis weighs on FTSE

The FTSE is yo-yoing this morning, weighed down by losses at M&G, Evraz and utility companies. M&G's  property fund, which owns numerous shopping centres across the UK, pulled the brakes on investor withdrawals after sustained Brexit-related outflows. The company said it wasn’t able to sell property fast enough in the current market to fund the withdrawals.

Pound marches on

Although the UK election news flow has been somewhat subdued over the last few days, giving way to the NATO summit, the pound has still quietly rallied throughout the week on expectations of a comfortable Conservative win. The trend continued this morning with sterling gaining another 0.27% against the dollar and 0.1% against the euro. Going into the election week investors seem to be positioning themselves for a further move higher. 

Oil rallies ahead of OPEC, Aramco

A big day for oil today as OPEC and Russia meet in Vienna to discuss production cuts and Saudi Arabia Aramco publishes its final IPO price. Talk on the sidelines of the Vienna meeting is indicating that OPEC will not only look to extend existing production restrictions but will look to introduce further ones in the region of 400,000 bbl a day. The pressure to cut is not surprising given that state-owned Aramco is expected to price its shares at the high end of the indicative range of $8-$8.53, which will force Saudi Arabia’s hand in terms of what kind of oil price it needs to keep the shares on an upward trajectory. Brent hit $63.36 overnight, also helped by a surprise inventory drawdown in the US.

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