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Stocks subdued as trade tensions persist

market relief

market relief

Stocks are subdued this morning as traders remain cautious about the state of global trading relationships. 

Volatility is expected to be low today as US stock markets are closed for Independence Day holiday celebrations. 

Sainsbury’s shares are in demand this morning after the company confirmed it has agreed financing on its proposed merger with Asda. The company announced the supermarket sector is still competitive, but the merger will create a dynamic new player in UK retail. Sainsbury’s revealed a 0.8% rise in total retail sales excluding fuel, but on a like-for-like basis, sales only increased by 0.2%. The stock has been rising since March, and if the positive move continues, it could target 244p.

Micro Focus shares are in the red after the tech sell-off in the US last night. Micron Technology shares tumbled on Tuesday after it was reported that a Chinese court had temporarily banned the sale of their chips in China. Micro Focus shares have slipped to a two-month low due to the sector-wide decline.

Anglo American shares are a touch higher this morning after it was reported that Vedanta Resources are contemplating a merger with the South African firm. There was speculation about this potential deal earlier this week after Anil Agarwal, the majority shareholder in Vedanta, made a move to acquire the remaining shares in the firm.

EUR/USD lost ground overnight, but has edged up slightly on the back of mixed services data from France and Germany. The French services PMI report ticked up from 54.3 to 55.9 in June, though economists were expecting a reading of 56.4. The German report came in at 54.5, which comfortably topped the consensus estimate of 53.9.

GBP/USD received a small boost from the firmer UK services PMI report. The reading was 55.1, while traders were anticipating a lower figure of 54.

US equity markets are shut today due to Independence Day. 

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