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LONDON, U.K. – The UK stock market opened the trading session on Monday with marginal declines, with the FTSE 100 index edging lower on cautious trading as the year ends.

Early on Monday, UK shares were seen trading lower while the British pound tracked modest gains as market players continue to wait on the final details regarding the earlier promised trade agreement between the two of the largest economies in the world. Previously, the US and the Chinese government have both made statements that phase one of the trade negotiations to end the trade war that has been going on for more than a year has been met, only needing some ironing out to become finalized. The partial trade agreement, based on previous reports, is scheduled for signing early in January 2020.

Ahead of the holiday in celebration of the New Year’s Day, the stock market in the UK was mostly weighed by the increasing political tensions in the northeast part of Asia as well as the airstrikes happening in the Middle East.

With the lower sentiment in the UK stock market, the benchmark FTSE 100 index was trading negatively for the day. The index has recorded a 25% decline during the day, going down by as much as 20 points towards 7,625 points following its previous 0.2% gains on Friday’s session.

One of the worst laggards on Monday’s session, the global mining group Rio Tinto, marked a 1% decline during the day. The mining behemoth previously stated that a periodical restart of their operation at the Richard Bay Minerals in South Africa is now in progress. According to the company, the operation at Richard Bay Minerals is expected to return to its normal level starting early in January and will continue towards a regular production early next year.

The Domino’s Pizza Group shares also dropped by around 0.6% on Monday following the death of its Chief Financial Officer, David Bauernfeind. The late CFO of the company died during a tragic accident on December 26 while he was on holiday with the family, based on the statement from the company.

The shares of the Smiths Group were also down for the day, recorded a decline of around half a percent amid the rumors that the current Chief Executive of the company, Andy Reynolds Smith, will step down in 2020 following the effusion of its medical unit. The news was based on a report from the Sunday Times.

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