Mining Stocks Boost FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 got off to a strong start this morning, after HSBC posted some good first-half figures, and mining stocks performed well overall. The pound, however, remained flat, as investors waited for the latest UK lending data.

UNDEFINED - Monday, July 31, 2017

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The strong opening came after a mixed finish for the Asian markets, which struggled as tensions escalated in that region.

Brent crude climbed to a two-month high earlier this morning, which is supported in part by the political crisis in Venezuela. The expectation is that US president Donald Trump plans to impose sanctions on the oil producer, as a response to the constitutional assembly vote which the US considers to have been both farcical and a sham.

The US government is considering several options that could affect the oil industry in Venezuela, which currently accounts for around 95 percent of the country’s exports. The OPEC met a week ago to discuss the weakness in oil prices, and has pledged to push for more compliance with the production cuts that were agreed upon in March. Since that meeting, the price of Brent has rallied by 9.5 percent, and is up to $52.56 per barrel this morning.

More locally, the number of businesses that are suffering from significant financial distress has been increasing at its fastest rate in three years, according to research conducted by Begbies Traynor. Last month, 330,000 UK companies reported being in financial distress, which is a 25 percent increase compared to the same quarter in 2016.


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