What was shaping up as a pretty sweet week for the markets ended on a sour note as the FTSE 100 slumped on Friday morning, says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.
“The index took its cue from weak trading in the US and Asia overnight as the war of words between Beijing and Washington (as well as others in the West) ramped up over the introduction of a new security law in Hong Kong.
“The suggestion that the US will no longer consider Hong Kong to be autonomous from China would affect the current special trading relationship the island enjoys.
“The deteriorating relationship between the US and China has been an uncomfortable soundtrack to the last two years or more and investors could do without it as they already look to contend with the fall-out from a global pandemic.
“Oil prices took a step back with the Brent benchmark just above $35 per barrel while gold was pretty steady at $1,721.”