London markets edged up on a quiet morning’s trading as Independence Day put the brakes on the FTSE 100.
The U.K.’s blue-chip index was subdued on Thursday with U.S. markets closed for Fourth of July celebrations.
The holiday stopped the FTSE 100’s momentum after strong gains earlier this week following a trade war truce between the U.S. and China and Christine Lagarde’s nomination to replace Mario Draghi as European Central Bank president.
What’s moving the markets?
China Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said existing U.S. tariffs must be removed for a trade deal to be struck but confirmed the two nations had restarted negotiations.
The FTSE 100
edged up 0.1% to 7,614.6 as the threat of trade war escalation was offset by continued optimism over Lagarde’s nomination.
The selection of the International Monetary Fund’s managing director has bolstered expectations of further monetary policy easing later this year.
U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, ramped up his rhetoric against Europe and China Wednesday, accusing the pair of playing a “big currency manipulation game” and suggesting the U.S. should employ the same tactic
In economic data, U.K. new car sales dropped for the fourth consecutive month and alternatively fueled vehicle demand fell for the first time since April 2017.
Eurozone retail sales also slid 0.3% month-on-month in May, calling into question the strength of the bloc’s services sector.
Which stocks are active?
British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines (IAG)
slumped 8% and Coca-Cola’s largest European bottler Coca-Cola HBC
fell 7.5% in early trading as both traded ex-dividend, meaning investors buying the stock from today will miss out on the next payout.
U.K. house builder Persimmon
posted a disappointing first half trading update as revenues declined to £1.75bn from £1.84bn the previous year, reflecting the softer U.K. housing market. Shares fell more than 2% before recovering.
Israel-based oil and gas producer Energean Oil & Gas
jumped 10.2% after announcing plans to buy Italian energy group Edison’s
oil and gas unit.