Markets Shaken By Fresh Tariff Threats

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Friday, 2nd August: British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines was one of the very few in positive territory on the blue-chip index today, up more than 7.0% in the afternoon following the release of a Q2 update which boasted a 20% increase in pre-tax profit, and their actions to appeal the UK regulator fine they were dealt regarding a cyber-attack on passenger data which took place late 2018.

On the other end of the index was Royal Bank of Scotland, down roughly 7.0% after their interim update. Although the group announced a special dividend of 12 pence and an increase in operating pre-tax profit in Q2, the market seemed more focused on its weak 2020 outlook and deteriorating conditions due to Brexit, which caused them to drop to the bottom of the index over fears of them not being able to meet next year’s profitability targets.

However, the main factor putting pressure on the index today was US-China trade tensions which escalated following announcements made by US President Donald Trump on Thursday night, in which he threatened to impose tariffs on a further $300 billion of Chinese imports in September due to their alleged inability to stick to multiple promises made during previous trade talks.

The FTSE 100 closed 2.34% lower at 7407.06, reversing all the progress made in July and trading at similar levels to those at the end of June.

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