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The FTSE was off to a slow start this morning, down 10 points in early trading with the Banking sector weighing down the index following it’s positive showing this week in light of the Bank of England’s ‘stress test’.

The Pound, however, is still enjoying a strong week following news of progress in Brexit discussions.

“How the FTSE and pound perform as the day goes on will likely be dependent on the state of November’s manufacturing PMI.” suggested Spreadex analyst, Connor Campbell. “Analysts are expecting a slight increase, from 56.3 to 56.6 month-on-month; if accurate that’d be the best reading in 3 months, and could help sterling pick up where it left off yesterday.”

Oil prices finished another positive month on the up following agreement from OPEC members to replace the current deal on quotas with a new one to cover the whole of 2018.

FxPro analyst, Edward Anderson commented “In a move widely expected by the markets, OPEC and non-OPEC producers led by Russia agreed to keep output cuts until the end of 2018.”

“Oil has now extended its longest streak of monthly gains since early 2016.”

Over in the US, equity markets closed higher across the board on Thursday, with the Dow Jones continuing recent outperformance to close above 24,000 for the first time, being joined at all-time highs by the S&P 500 while the Nasdaq attempts to recover from a broad Tech sector sell-off.

Accendo Markets analyst, Mike van Dulken noted “The Dow was helped higher by strong gains for heavyweights Boeing, Goldman Sachs and United Technologies, while Industrials and IT led the S&P. Large cap Tech stocks such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook rebounded to aid the Nasdaq.”

The rebound was boosted by rising expectations that Trump’s tax reform bill may find approval in the coming days.

“Expectations of a deal gathered pace after highly respected Republican senator John McCain said he would support the bill.” suggested CMC Markets analyst, Michael Hewson. “Despite this boost Republicans took the decision to delay the vote suggesting that there were still problems in getting the necessary votes. The delay for now doesn’t appear to have impacted sentiment but that could change if the bill fails to get the required votes, when senators reconvene today.”

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Michael Morton

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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