London shares opened on a downer this morning after hitting a fresh record high on the back of rising oil prices.
London’s top index closed up 67.66 points at 7522.03, and also notched up a fresh trading high of 7,533.70 earlier in the session.
But crude prices have come off the boil as API inventory data showed a surprise build in US stockpiles.
This session sees another raft of earnings from a number of blue chip stocks, including SSE and British Land. The main event is UK unemployment and the onus will be on weekly wages after yesterday’s worrying inflation data, highlighting a fresh squeeze on consumers.
Nervy: What will wage data show this morning and fresh allegations over President Trump
Overnight there have been claims that US President Trump may have tried to coerce ex-FBI Director Comey into dropping the probe into General Flynn.
This adds to a darkening cloud of controversy and disarray hovering over the White House.
It also means more questions about the administration’s ability to garner enough Republican for the policy pledges for which investors are growing increasingly impatient.
Meanwhile taxpayers have finally sold their stake in Lloyds – nine years after rescuing the bank at the height of the financial crisis. This morning the last of the Government’s stock will have been sold – resulting in a £500million profit from the £20.3billion bailout.
The landmark moment ends the rockiest chapter in the history of the 252-year-old lender. Ministers were forced to rescue the bank in 2008 when it came close to collapse as the global financial crisis threatened to sink the world’s biggest economies.