The FTSE is sliding this morning, digesting weaker oil prices, Asian data and the aftermath of the violent protests in Hong Kong this week. Banks, oil firms and retailers attracted the most volume but declines were only moderate.

Chinese industrial data played a part in the FTSE’s decline as the UK is the second largest European exporter into the country. Industrial production in China is now at a 17-year low, reflecting weaker domestic demand but also the escalating trade tensions which became worse during May, the month of the latest data reading.

Oil prices are lower after the International Energy Agency cut its forecasts for global demand this year but the tense situation in the Gulf is preventing prices from a bigger decline.

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Pound steady as Johnson emerges in the lead for next PM

The pound is barely showing any signs of life, trading in a narrow channel against the dollar and the euro since late yesterday when Conservative MP’s went into the first round of voting on their next party leader. For the moment the fabled volatility in the currency market has not materialised but there is time yet for the temperature to start rising.

US industrial production data and retail sales due out later today will be the focal point for euro/dollar trading as this is the last set of significant economic data before next week’s FOMC meeting.

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