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DailyFX DailyFX European Market Wrap: GBP/USD Gains Weigh on FTSE

DailyFX DailyFX European Market Wrap: GBP/USD Gains Weigh on FTSE

Katie Pilbeam,

European markets are trading lower this Thursday despite world stock markets hitting record highs. Declines were endured both in London and on the continent.

For the FTSE 100 these drops can be out down to a number of big names going ex-dividend. BP, Shell, AstraZeneca and Imperial Brands are among these companies trading without the benefit of the dividend. Food giant NESTLE was down by more than 2 percent after sales and profit missed expectations.

Meanwhile, British power producer Drax reported a 17 percent fall in core annual earnings to 140 million pounds due to weaker power price and loss of revenue from a green energy scheme.

Turning to the currency markets, a drop in the US Dollar has benefited Sterling, the Euro and Gold as investors’ appetite for taking on more risk has declined despite this week’s hawkish testimony to Congress by Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The US dollar is still down for the year despite a strong run over the last couple of weeks. Its fall this session came as investors sought out safe havens for their money, knocking both the US and Australian dollars but benefiting the Japanese yen.

Elsewhere oil prices recovered from a knock from data showing record high U.S. crude and gasoline inventories. The Brent crude front-month future climbed above the 56 dollars a barrel mark as sentiment recovered.

Looking ahead to Friday one of the biggest reports will be UK retail sales, which for the month are set to grow by 0.7% after contracting by two per cent the month before but to expand by just 3.9% for the year, down from 4.9%. Eurozone trade and construction numbers for the year are also due.

--- Written by Katie Pilbeam, DailyFX

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