The UK consumer continues to show impressive resilience to the slowing economy and political uncertainty with retail sales figures for July topping estimates. This is the 6th time this year that monthly figures have been better than expected, with strong growth of 6.9% seen in non-store retailing. Another bright spot was department stores where growth increased for the first time in 2019 after 6 consecutive monthly declines. There’s been a little uptick seen in the pound after the release, but as was the case for yesterday’s inflation figures and Tuesday’s wage numbers, at present economic data remains of secondary importance for sterling.   

The FTSE closed at its lowest level in 5 months yesterday, dragged lower by a souring of risk sentiment as markets reversed the moves seen on Tuesday after the boost from the Chinese tariff delay failed to have a lasting impact. This morning there’s been further weakness and there’s a growing danger that things could go from bad to worse for stock markets before the week is out.  

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