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European Markets Are Stable, Weak Pound Supports FTSE 100 Index

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Apr. 20 2018, Published 7:24 a.m. ET

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom’s FTSE 100 Index started this week on a weaker note but regained strength as the week progressed. After surging to ten-week high price levels on Thursday, the FTSE 100 Index opened higher on April 20 and traded with strength in the morning session.

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Market sentiment

The FTSE 100 Index surged on April 19. Strong movements in metals boosted miners’ performance. On Friday, most of the market strength is due to the fall in the pound. The pound lost momentum on Thursday following the release of March’s weaker-than-expected retail sales data. On Friday, the pound moved lower amid doubts about the timing of the BoE’s (Bank of England) interest rate hike. Doubts about the interest rate hike increased after BoE Governor Mark Carney commented that the interest rate hikes might not come in May. His comment weighed on the pound and supported the FTSE 100 Index in the morning session.

At 4:30 AM EST today, the FTSE 100 Index was trading at 7,355.75—a gain of 0.37%. The iShares MSCI United Kingdom (EWU) declined 0.38% to $36.37 on Thursday.

Germany

After a brief pullback on Thursday, Germany’s DAX Index opened lower on Friday and traded with weakness in the morning session. Asian markets’ weak performance, US markets’ decline overnight, and the release of weak economic data weighed on the DAX Index in the morning session on April 20. According to Destatis, Germany’s producer price index grew 1.9% in March, which is less than the market’s expected growth of 2%.

At 4:35 AM EST on April 20, the DAX 30 Index was trading at 12,561.99—a drop of 0.04%. The iShares MSCI Germany (EWG) declined 0.51% on Thursday.

France

After gaining for three consecutive trading days, France’s CAC 40 Index opened higher on Friday and traded with mixed sentiment at ten-week high price levels. The CAC 40 Index supported European markets’ improved sentiment. The decline in US and Asian markets kept the risk appetite low on Friday morning. At 4:40 AM EST on Friday, the CAC 40 Index was trading at 5,392.93—a gain of 0.02%. The iShares MSCI France (EWQ) gained 0.03% on April 19.

Next, we’ll discuss how the US Dollar Index and Treasury yields performed in the early hours on April 20.

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