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FTSE struggles to get into positive territory

Overnight Chinese economic data has weighed the FTSE down more than most stock indices today.

All trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

We might see slightly less sentiment coming from China as they start the first of three bank holidays celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival; the last piece of data from them, however, on commodity consumption, was disappointing. As a result, the FTSE – which is more heavily weighted with mining stocks than most European indices – has spent all day lagging behind its counterparts, struggling to get above parity. Unfortunately for the bulls the majority have joined the minority, and eurozone stocks have drifted lower as the day has progressed.

US indices are looking likely to start the day flat to slightly soft, but there is a dearth of economic data out later which may serve to boost sentiment. With the USD/JPY pairing posting a slight recovery, although still below the psychological Y100 level, this might give the markets a slight boost.

The biggest news continues to revolve around the US government’s involvement in monitoring Verizon clients' mobile phone communications. With Vodafone holding just less than half the shares in issue, and due to post their figures on Wednesday, the FTSE could well feel the effects of a shift in sentiment towards the company. This will be a story worth monitoring closely as it seems likely to have far-reaching consequences.

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