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The FTSE was up 12 points in early trading this Tuesday morning with Banking stocks and Royal Dutch Shell leading the way.

This morning’s Banking ‘stress test’ findings boosted the FTSE Financials as each of the Banks involved “proved they could withstand an economically calamitous ‘disorderly Brexit’ with the latest round of stress test results – though some lenders came off better than others” suggested Spreadex analyst, Connor Campbell.

“While all 7 lenders passed for the first time since 2014, Barclays and RBS only did so by the skin of their teeth, with both banks reliant on capital raised throughout 2017 rather than their 2016 end-point like their peers” he added.

The results saw HSBC shares boosted by 0.90% while RBS shares jumped half a percent. Barclays was the only bank to fall, dropping 0.20% on news that it was closer to failing than expected.

Royal Dutch Shell’s performance was due largely to their announcement that the Group will recommence paying a cash dividend in the fourth quarter.

Over in the US, equity markets returned from a Thanksgiving-shortened trading week mixed as Technology stocks underperformed the wider markets, while Retailers outperformed following Black Friday. Accendo Markets analyst, Mike van Dulken noted “The Dow Jones closed just shy of a record high as 3M and Home Depot contributed the most gains, while DuPont underperformed. Tech was weak on the S&P 500 as it closed just shy of break even, while the Tech-heavy Nasdaq underperformed, closing 0.3% lower.”

On the Retail sector outperformance, CMC Markets analyst, Michael Hewson added “These retail reports estimated that Black Friday sales posted a 17% rise from a year ago, however the big question with respect to this increase in sales is likely to be whether they have been achieved at the cost of margins. If they have been then the recent rally in retail stocks could well be rather short-lived.”

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Michael Morton

Michael has worked within the Financial Industry for more than 20 years. Starting out as a financial analyst, he has extensive experience working with fund management groups and brokerages.

With an interest in Stocks and Shares, Funds, ETFs and Commodities, his investment focus is medium to long term gains, with the objective of financial security on retirement, and building wealth for his young children for their adult life. His broker of choice is Hargreaves Lansdown.

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