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Manchester blast weighs on pound, but FTSE gains

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 01:49

Sterling has slipped after a suspected suicide attack killed at least 22 people and wounded 59 at a pop concert in the English city of Manchester, while the euro held gains made after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was ''too weak''. David Pollard reports.

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(SOUNDBITE) (English) GREATER MANCHESTER MAYOR, ANDY BURNHAM, SAYING: "We are grieving today, but we are strong. Today it will be business as usual as far as possible in our great city ..." At least twenty-two deaths and scores of injuries. But Manchester is unbowed by the latest terror attack to hit the UK, according to its mayor - and so, it seems, are markets. UK stocks subdued as they opened, but still making gains. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "Sadly, I think over the course of the past few years these have become an all too common occurrence and I think markets are becoming desensitised." Sterling dipped 0.2 per cent against the dollar. A smaller reaction than Monday's slip amid a policy u-turn by the ruling Conservatives. Coming just two and half weeks before the UK election, it coincided with new polls showing their lead slipping too. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT, DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom ..." But the dollar also on edge as Donald Trump continued his Middle East tour. The White House set to deliver his first full budget later on Tuesday. It would cut 3.6 trillion dollars in government spending over a decade - while also selling off half the country's strategic oil reserves. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "It's affecting the oil price but more broadly I think what markets are looking at is that this is the opening shot of a very difficult negotiation process between Democrats and Republicans to try and get this budget through." The euro, meanwhile, still holding to its gains. German chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday described it as too weak - that boosting it by around half a per cent. A six-month high making it the strong performer of the day.

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Manchester blast weighs on pound, but FTSE gains

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 01:49