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UK stocks fluctuated in early trading as political uncertainty matched up against the positive impact of higher commodity prices.  Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech to the CBI has been of particular import to markets given the clues it offered for future fiscal stimulus.

Healthcare and telecoms sectors were the biggest blue chip fallers whilst resource shares were top risers as oil and copper prices gained ground with the FTSE 100 trading around 6,800. Corporate profit warnings weighed on the FTSE 250. Shares of Mitie and Essentra were down double digits after issuing profit warnings.

Of particular note in Theresa in Theresa May’s speech was a statement that the Autumn Statement “will build on the Bank of England’s actions to aid the economy”. This statement simultaneously shows support for monetary policy to date and implies there will be some extra level of support fiscally. May is still taking the talk of an economy that “works for everyone.” The Autumn Statement will be the first indication of whether she walks the walk.

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OPEC speculation continues to drive the oil price in the countdown to the November 30 meeting. Iran, Iraq and Russia have made positive utterances about a deal being done in recent days- but they are contributing the least to making it happen. Whether the deal goes ahead rests with Saudi Arabia deciding its own lost market share is a price worth paying for a policy that should- but may not - stabilise the price of oil. 

US stocks look set for a higher open with higher oil prices expected to lift energy company shares as investors hang on every word of a possible new Donald Trump cabinet appointee.

USA pre-opening levels

S&P 500: 6 points higher at 2,187

Dow Jones: 29 points higher at 18,896

Nasdaq 100: 13 points higher at 4,821


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