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Geopolitics Continue to Weigh on Equity Markets

Geopolitics Continue to Weigh on Equity Markets

Katie Pilbeam,

Geopolitics continues to weigh on European markets and the UK's trade deficit widens while Britain’s industrial production beats expectations.

The FTSE 100 is the weakest bourse due to a host of heavyweights go ex-dividend. As well as data published today. This includes the UK's trade deficit in goods and services widened by £2bn between May and June to £4.6bn – this is being put down to an increase in imports of £1.7bn.

Britain's exports to the EU jumped by 2% in the last three months, but exports to non-EU countries actually fell by 1.4%, according to today's trade data. But overall Britain continues to consume more goods and services than it sells to the rest of the world despite a weaker currency.

Industrial output in Britain unexpectedly picked up by 0.5% in June, but according to official figures published by ONS this gain reflects a lack of seasonal oilfield maintenance in the month, which normally depresses output.

Glencore earnings surged 68% in the first half thanks to the gains in commodity prices. The mining giant decided to keep the dividend unchanged to continue paying down its debt and improve the health of its balance sheet. And the company's CEO, Ivan Glasenberg, said there is 'headroom for highly selective growth opportunities."

Amazon had its UK corporation tax bill cut in half last year despite making more than £7bn pounds in retail sales. {CHART} The bill went from £15.8m to £7.4m year-on-year in 2016. But the company is adamant that is pays its way, explaining that corporation tax is based on profits, not revenues, and profits have remained low given retail is a highly competitive, low margin business and continued heavy investment. The company employs 24,000 UK staff.

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--- Written by Katie Pilbeam, DailyFX

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