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DailyFX European Market Wrap: FTSE Resumes Climb as GBP/USD Slips

DailyFX European Market Wrap: FTSE Resumes Climb as GBP/USD Slips

Katie Pilbeam,

The European markets are mixed this Tuesday with declines in France due to concerns surrounding the prospect of a far-right win in France's presidential election this spring as well as tensions brewing once again over Greece's debt.

The FTSE 100 witnessed gains for the housing sector as the government prepares to unveil plans to build more affordable houses. The new housing strategy for England includes forcing councils to plan for their own needs and giving them powers to pressurize developers to start building on land they own.

This news sent shares such as Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey higher. The fallout from Brexit is yet to impact the sector, despite sharp gains after the initial EU referendum result.

Another key company report impacting the UK markets on Tuesday was that of BP, which published numbers lower than expectations in the fourth quarter and annual earnings that dipped to at least a 10-year low. However, profits were still double in the last three months of 2016 on the back of slightly higher oil prices and more cost-cutting. BP's shares dropped in response to the report. Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes totaled $400m dollars, falling short of the $567m dollars which was the average expectation. Although this is still up $196m a year earlier.

Sterling dropped to a 2-week low versus the US Dollar today as Brexit and economic growth concerns return and as the dollar has risen on talk of an earlier than expected rise in US interest rates. A voting member of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Patrick Harker said a rate rise on March 14, 2017 was 'on the table'. This comes after the last meeting of the US central banks said a rate move was not likely until summer.

Looking ahead to Wednesday – there's lots of key corporate news to watch with mining giant Rio Tinto, Tullow Oil and GlaxoSmithKline. And Washington will be watching Time Warner as well as EIA oil inventories results.

--- Written by Katie Pilbeam, DailyFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.