London Stocks Soar On Post-Brexit Trade Deal

London stocks surged Tuesday with investors relieved over Britain’s long-awaited Brexit deal with the EU, while eurozone equities also rose on US stimulus news with Frankfurt extending its record-breaking run.

The British capital’s benchmark FTSE 100 index jumped 2.2 percent in late morning deals, having last traded on Christmas Eve before the announcement of a long-awaited post-Brexit trade deal.

Britain and the European Union finally struck a trade deal Thursday to cushion the economic blow of Brexit, in a major boost to Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The pound climbed against the dollar but steadied versus the euro, as dealers continued to digest the 1,246-page agreement document.

“The Brexit deal is really a blessing… for the UK and for the FTSE 100 index. There is no doubt that the FTSE 100 has been a laggard index and now is its time to shine,” AvaTrade analyst Naeem Aslam told AFP.

He added: “European stocks are still very much in Santa rally mode and traders only want to push stocks higher because they know that there is enough tailwind for the stock market in 2021.”

The EU gave the green light to the deal on Monday, paving the way for it to come into effect in the New Year. Britain’s parliament will seek to ratify it this week.

“Markets seem to be welcoming the Brexit deal,” noted AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

“However, the agreement struck between London and Brussels is yet to win universal acclaim — even if that is the inevitable result of the compromises that the Prime Minister had to make to get the deal over the line.”

Elsewhere, Asian markets mostly rose Tuesday following a record-breaking lead from Wall Street, as investors cheered the passage of a huge US stimulus bill which has helped temper fears about surging coronavirus infections.

Investor sentiment was given another shot in the arm after US President Donald Trump signed a $900-billion (735-billion-euro) Covid-19 economic stimulus bill late on Sunday.

“The hunt for records continues,” said Comdirect analyst Andreas Lipkow.

Frankfurt’s DAX index also powered its way Tuesday to new heights, extending its record-breaking run as the market ends a turbulent year on a strong note.

Asia also scored new pinnacles, with Tokyo soaring 2.7 percent to end at a 30-year high.

European nations meanwhile continue to ramp up vaccinations, adding to optimism of a route out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Yet governments around the world have been forced to impose lockdowns and other strict, economically painful measures to contain surging Covid-19 cases.

Trump had meanwhile held off signing the US virus stimulus package for almost a week, saying it did not provide enough cash to Americans and calling for handouts to be jacked up to $2,000 from the $600 offered in the initial bill.

Democrats agreed more was needed and on Monday the House of Representatives approved a motion to increase the payments.

– Key figures around 1150 GMT –

London – FTSE 100: UP 2.2 percent at 6,643.19 points

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.3 percent at 13,831.72

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 5,610.83

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4 percent at 3,589.57

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 2.7 percent at 27,568.15 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.0 percent at 26,568.49 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.5 percent at 3,379.04 (close)

New York – Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 30,403.97 (close)

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3492 from $1.3452 at 2200 GMT

Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.80 pence from 90.81 pence

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.2251 from $1.2216

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 103.65 yen from 103.81 yen

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.3 percent at $48.26 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.1 percent at $51.50

AFP

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