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BP Profit Tumbles on Prices, Weak Refining Margins

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BP profits slump, Weale turns, and Sanders endorses Clinton. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

BP profit slump

BP Plc posted a 45 percent slump in earnings, saying adjusted profit dropped to $720 million from $1.3 billion a year earlier — below analysts' expectations. Continuing low oil prices and "significant pressure" on refining margins hit the company's bottom line. Shares in the oil major were 2.4 percent lower in London trading at 5:45 a.m. ET. Oil itself fell to a three-month low this morning, with a barrel of West Texas Intermediate for September delivery trading as low as $42.59. 

BOE policymaker changes mind

Bank of England policy maker Martin Weale has said that he now favors immediate stimulus for the U.K. economy as Brexit has led to a "dramatic deterioration" in short-term indicators. Weale's comments in an interview with the Financial Times represent a change from his position last week when he said he'd require harder evidence of Brexit's impact before he'd support additional stimulus. The next policy meeting at the central bank is on August 4. The pound slid after Weale's comment were published, but had recovered to trade at $1.3126 by 6:20 a.m. ET.

Apple earnings

Apple Inc. reports earnings after the bell today, and investors will be keep a close eye on iPhone sales and indications of increasing competition pressure in China and India. One analyst has already decided that the company has peaked, with Colin Gillis of BGC Financial L.P. downgrading it with a price target of $85 a share, almost 13 percent below Monday's closing value.

Markets slip

There was a mixed session overnight in Asia, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbing 0.5 percent as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed at a December high while Japan's Topix index dropped 1.4 percent, with exporters hit by the strengthening yen. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.2 percent lower at 6:11 a.m. ET as the drop in BP and banks ahead of Friday's stress test results was offset by gains in miners. S&P 500 futures were down 0.1 percent

Sanders backs Clinton

Bernie Sanders said that he stands with Hillary Clinton in his speech to the Democratic Convention yesterday, to the chagrin of some of his supporters at the event. Backers of the Senator from Vermont are furious over leaked emails which appear to show that the party actively supported Clinton over Sanders. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has seized on the discord the leak has caused within the Democratic party. 

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