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Friday,22 May 2020 at 16:06

UK and European stocks closed mixed as ties between the U.S. and China came under further strain, potentially threatening the “Phase One” trade deal signed earlier this year.

The dollar climbed on Friday as the emergence of a fresh source of tension between the United States and China boosted demand for safe-haven currencies.

Oil prices slumped after China’s decision to omit an economic growth target for 2020 renewed concerns that the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will continue to depress fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil user.

Gold gained as intensifying U.S.-China tensions compounded fears of a slow recovery in a global economy already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.

In corporate news, Asia-focused stocks Prudential, HSBC and Standard Chartered were all weaker after it emerged that China is planning to introduce a national security law on Hong Kong that would ban "treason, secession, sedition and subversion" of the central government in Beijing.

Elsewhere, United Utilities was in the red as it increased its final dividend but said it would review its dividend policy after £56m of Covid-19 costs contributed to a £5m decline in annual operating profit.

Markets
At the close
FTSE 100 5,993 (-0.37%)
FTSE 250 16,398 +0.08%
DAX 11,073 +0.07%
At 17:00
Dow Jones 24,358 (-0.47%)
S&P 500 2,940 (-0.28%)
NASDAQ 9,275 (-0.10%)
Fixed Income
UK 10-YR YIELD 0.18
Exchange Rates
GBP/USD 1.217
GBP/EUR 1.117
Commodities
Gold $1,731 +0.26%
Brent $34.78 (-3.09%)
This report has been prepared for private circulation. The inclusion of securities within this report does not necessarily imply their suitability for individual portfolios or situations in respect of which further advice should be sought. Information contained in this report has been compiled from sources believed to be reliable but is not warranted to be accurate or complete.
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