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The FTSE was up 23 points in early trading this Tuesday morning, boosted by the retail sector as Morrisons post Christmas trading statement showed a like-for-like profit increase of 2.8%.

“Morrisons had plenty to smile about; its Best premium range jumped 25%, suggesting savvy branding on the supermarket’s behalf, while online sales, which include those made through Amazon Fresh, were up 10%. These figures sent the Northern favourite nearly 4.5% higher to a 3 month peak” commented Spreadex analyst, Connor Campbell.

Sainsbury’s share price was up 1.3% and Marks & Spencer 1.79% while Next and Kingfisher also received a boost.

Tesco was the only member of the big four to miss out on Morrison’s update with a drop of 0.1% this morning, “perhaps struggling today after the latest Kantar grocery market data showed continued market share gains for the German discounters, challenging its #1 position” suggested Accendo Markets analyst, Mike van Dulken.

It was the Euro that suffered in the currency markets yesterday, dropping below the key 1.20 mark. “This would suggest that investors are starting to grow concerned that the ECB will talk down the currency as an expensive euro would threaten the growth prospects of the Euro area” noted ADS Securities analyst, Konstantinos Anthis.

FxPro analyst, Edward Anderson added “EURUSD appears to be consolidating at current levels but the markets are closely watching Germany, and their inability to form a government, that will put downward pressure on EUR.”

Over in the US, both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at fresh all-time highs. However the Dow Jones, having touched a fresh intraday record high, eventually finished lower to end a four day win streak. Mike van Dulken noted “The Nasdaq outperformed as the Tech sector continued recent strength, while Utilities led the S&P higher. Gains for Caterpillar were not enough to help the Dow to a fresh record close as Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth weighed.”

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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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