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Pharmaceuticals and tobacco ‘behind slow start to the week’

The European markets opened quietly this week following the publication of a report by US senators that was critical of a pharmaceutical firm.

The European markets opened quietly this week following the publication of a report by US senators that was critical of a pharmaceutical firm.

Joshua Raymond, market strategist at City Index, has highlighted this as one of the key reasons for the slow performance, with defensive lags in both the tobacco and pharmaceutical sectors.

He said: “GlaxoSmithKline leads the fallers in London after US senators published a fairly damning report linking their diabetes drug Avandia to heart risk. This has got shareholders a little concerned and, as a result, shares are down by two per cent.”

Mr Raymond added that mining companies have been performing strongly, despite the low price of copper.

In other news, Standard and Poor’s has announced the launch of the S&P Dynamic Futures Index, which tracks commodity and financial futures contracts.

It claimed that this would offer hedge funds rules-based exposure over 24 of these, which it has grouped into roughly 14 sectors.

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