FTSE under pressure

European markets are mixed this morning with the FTSE initially being dragged lower by Bunzl shares but then slowly recovering. Utility and mining companies were also a drag on the London index, the former on concerns of slow economic growth in the UK, the latter on global growth concerns. The DAX and CAC are trading just above the flat line with the French index helped by L’Oreal which turned in expectation-beating results.

China’s industrial growth boosts Asian shares

Trading signals coming from Asia are all positive this morning as China reported steady quarterly economic growth despite expectations of a slowdown. The country’s industrial production increased sharply according to official data and consumer demand showed signs of improvement. With the resolution to the trade dispute between the US and China seemingly within reach, Asian markets are mostly pulling higher. But to put the Chinese data in perspective it is worth noting that the steady pace of growth is being fueled by the financial support from the government which came in earlier this year in response to a tailing off of industrial growth and exports.

Bunzl’s surprise decline

Bunzl investors had a bit of shock this morning when shares in the outsourcing company plunged 13% after the company reported a slowdown in underlying revenue growth, particularly its key North American market. The company said recently it is looking to grow through acquisitions and has announced Wednesday that it has bought Dutch distributor of specialist packaging Coolpack.

A quiet day for sterling?

The forex market has been surprisingly sedate this week mostly because the flow of Brexit news has ceased for the moment and MPs are taking time off over Easter. With the week being shortened by holidays the volumes of trade are lower than usual and sterling is trading flat against the greenback and marginally lower against the euro. The dollar is weaker against six major currencies as concerns are rising that the US markets are in a heavy bubble that could burst in the near future.

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