Markets pause ahead of crucial US healthcare vote – business live

Global markets stabilise as investors await the first key test of whether President Trump will be able to able to press ahead with growth-boosting policies

European markets are in a subdued mood this morning as investors await the crucial US vote on the healthcare bill which seeks to overturn Obamacare.

With many opposed to the bill in its current form, investors are concerned that should Trump lose the vote, his growth-boosting policy promises might not materialse.

The markets got off to an understandably quiet start this Thursday, the European indices gently slipping into the red after the bell.

There are a couple of reasons why investors may be sitting on their hands this morning. Firstly, the tragedy in Westminster on Wednesday is the kind of event that casts the cold light of perspective on the stock market’s frivolities.

Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, says that investors knew what was coming from the retailer in the form of the first profit drop in eight years.

Not a pretty set of figures from Next but no worse than expected after warning on profits in January. Following that dire Christmas trading update investors were prepared for this and the retailer remains extremely cautious about the year ahead.

It was the first drop in annual profits in 8 years but investors seem to be reassured that it’s taking steps to turn things around with a focus on core products.

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