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Sino-US tensions continue to erode markets

The rising hostility in US-China trade relations continues to keep the FTSE under pressure with the negative impact further amplified by the US decision to ban the use of Huawei equipment in the country. 

The London gauge is down 0.15% but is doing better than a number of European markets which are waiting for the hit from the potential US tariffs on car imports. 

President Trump is due to make a decision on the car tariffs later this week but with Iran tensions on the rise and China tariffs already hitting stock markets he may postpone the move for another six months. 

UK consumer goods and travel take a hit 

The delayed effect of the unresolved Brexit is continuing to erode the enthusiasm of British consumers for non-essential goods and purchases, with the hardest hit being travel and consumer goods companies. 

Burberry shares dropped after the company reported flat profit in the first quarter but by far the worst hit stock this morning has been Thomas Cook with a 17.6% plunge after it warned that a large number of its holidays remain unsold.  

Middle East tensions push oil higher

Brent crude is trading back above the $72 mark as Middle East tensions are ratcheting up with several stealth attacks on Saudi Arabian tankers and pipelines. The US has issued a series of warnings about Iran and has followed this up with increased military presence in the Gulf and the recall of its diplomatic staff from Iraq.

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