Stocks bounce as they look to recover from heavy losses

There's been a sizable gain seen in the stock markets this morning with the FTSE rallying by more than 100 points as the benchmark looks to regain its footing after recent blows which saw the index on Thursday fall to its lowest level since 2016. Despite the bounce the market is still set to post a large weekly loss and is on course for its lowest weekly close in more than 2 years. It's been a busy week in terms of news for the pound, but when all is said and done sterling is actually little changed on the whole.

A poor service sector business activity release outweighed better than expected data points from the manufacturing and constructions sectors, but economic data pales into insignificance compared to the latest Brexit developments when it comes to driving the pound in the near term. On the political front, there's been a lot of noise of late, but looking through the mist the outlook is becoming a little more favourable for the pound with the chances of crashing out of the EU with no deal receding significantly given the need now for parliament to vote in favour of this outcome rather than it being the default position.

Crude oil markets await OPEC+ announcement
Thursday's OPEC meeting in Vienna proved a bit of a damp squib with no major news coming out of the highly anticipated event. Hopes for a deal to cut production remain despite the Saudi energy minister stating that he was "not confident" an agreement will be reached. Non-OPEC member Russia will join the talks today and the latest reports suggest the Kremlin are willing to cut their output by 200,000 bpd. The price of Oil dropped sharply as it appeared the size of the cuts would be towards the bottom end of the expected 1-1.5m bpd range, but perhaps tellingly the market found buyers just above last week's lows. The market remains under heavy pressure but if the recent lows can hold and OPEC+ deliver a production cut then we could well see a recovery into year-end.

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