It comes amid uncertainty in the Asian markets due to escalating US-China tensions. The United States gave China 72 hours to close its consulate in Houston amid accusations of spying, marking a dramatic deterioration in relations between the world’s two biggest economies.
For equity markets, the mood darkened after Beijing ordered the US to close its consulate in Chengdu in retaliation.
Chinese blue chips retreated 3.7% as a result, wiping out a week of gains.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 1.7%.
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9.25am update: EU markets struggle on open
Like FTSE, European markets are not enjoying their start to the game.
Euronext 100, CAC 40, DAX and Swiss Market Index have all plunged this morning.
Euronext is down 2.32%, CAC 2.09%, DAX 2.18% and Swiss Market Index 1.53%.
9.00am update: Boost for UK retail as sales jump in June
UK retail sales jumped 14percent in June, a major boost after months of lockdown.
ONS figures showed a climb of 13.9percent in retail sales across England, Scotland and Wales.
Economists polled by Reuters had only predicted an eight percent increase.
8.15am update: FTSE plummets on open
FTSE has dropped sharply on open, falling 1.57% in a matter of minutes.
After closing at 6,211 yesterday, the index has since dropped to 6,114 – a substantial drop just after open.
This is a developing story, more to follow…