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North Korean tensions drive stocks south

Stocks in Europe are offside this morning as tensions surrounding North Korea have flared up again, after the country carried out another nuclear test. 

South Korea believes their northern neighbour is getting ready to launch more missiles. Every now and again Pyongyang deliberately provokes its neighbours, but this time, the regime is pushing the envelope.

Stocks markets across Europe have been shaken by the escalating tensions, and the wider down trend indices have been in over the past few months are still in intact. We are seeing a firm euro this morning, and this is adding pressure to the equity markets in the eurozone.

The European Central Bank (ECB) will hold their next meeting on Thursday, and traders are expecting the President Mario Draghi to acknowledge the strength of the euro. This could keep pressure on eurozone stocks.

The euro was helped by the jump in eurozone sentix investor confidence report, which edged up to 28.2 in September, up from 27.7 last month.

The GBP/USD was nudged lower by the worse than expected UK construction PMI report. In August, the reading was 51.1, while traders were anticipating 52, and the July report was 51.9. Sterling has been soft lately, and the slowing growth rate in the UK construction industry could make matters worse.

The US is celebrating Labour Day today.


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