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The FTSE 100 index shrugged off gloomy data from East Asia to report gains in morning trading

The trend of weak purchasing managers' surveys continues, with weakening readings from Japan and China this morning. But the FTSE 100 index shrugged off the gloom to post gains in morning trading. The Trader reports.

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Barclays (BARC) is to sell its 89 bank branches in Italy to CheBanca! as it continues to shed non-core assets. The group will book a £200m post-tax loss on the disposal, which will reduce its risk-weighted assets by £0.8bn. Meanwhile, Blythe Masters, who worked with Barclays' new boss Jes Staley at JPMorgan's investment bank, told Bloomberg she was "fully committed" to her current role, following a report suggesting she could be the next head of Barclays investment bank. We keep our buy rating.

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