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Brexit breakthrough boosts European stock markets

Brexit breakthrough boosts European stock marketsLONDON: Europe’s stock markets climbed Friday and the pound briefly topped $1.35 on news of Britain’s breakthrough Brexit deal.

Asian stock markets rallied after overnight gains on Wall Street, which opened higher as data showed the US economy continued to see robust job creation in November.

Cryptocurrency bitcoin broke fresh records above $17,000 on speculative buying, but then slid on profit-taking to stand at $15,520.50 around 1630 GMT.

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index stormed 1.0 percent higher, with stocks helped by the subsequent slide in the value of the pound, which helps many of the listed firms that generate most of their revenue outside Britain.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index climbed 0.8 percent and the Paris CAC 40 rose 0.3 percent.

“The Brexit breakthrough is welcome news… but it is probably too early to pop the champagne,” Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of investment at online stockbroker Interactive Investor, told AFP.

Britain and the European Union reached a historic deal on divorce terms that allows them to open up talks on a future relationship after the split.

The news bolstered confidence in the Conservative government of Prime Minister Theresa May, who had faced sharp criticism earlier this year after calling a snap election in which she lost her UK parliamentary majority.

On its EU divorce bill, Britain agreed to pay between £35 billion-£39 billion (40-45 billion euros, $47-52 billion).

– Breathing space –

“This does give Theresa May some breathing space in the short term, but her government is still relatively precarious with Brexiteers and Remainers struggling to find common ground,” said O’Keeffe.

“The next stage of talks (on trade) is potentially even more difficult than the first.”

She added that UK bond yields rose as the removal of Brexit uncertainty prompted many investors to shift cash out of bonds and into equities.

Friday’s agreement paves the way for EU leaders at a summit on December 14-15 to open the second phase of Brexit negotiations, covering trade talks and a transition period.

“One important part of the Brexit deal today is that the May government will live to see another week,” said Rabobank analyst Jane Foley.

“This alone is a positive factor for the pound,” she added.

In early morning London deals, the pound briefly nudged beyond $1.35. But by the afternoon it was back down against the dollar and the euro.

“Investors are breathing a sigh of relief that the UK and the EU have agreed a divorce bill but the trade negotiations are likely to be protracted,” said NFS Macro analyst Nick Stamenkovic.

“Consequently any upside in the pound is likely to be limited near term.”

US employers added 288,000 new positions last month, with strong gains in manufacturing, health care and construction, according to the nonfarm payrolls data. Wage growth of 0.2 percent disappointed, however.

“A steady bounce in non-farm payrolls for the month has removed the last hurdle before the Fed meeting and the expected rise in interest rates, but once again disappointment on the earnings from has limited upside for the dollar,” Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading firm IG.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2017

Source: Brecorder.com

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