London markets rose Monday, lifted by a weaker pound, which sagged over increasing concerns over Britain’s exit from the European Union and fresh data showing sluggish growth in the final quarter of 2018.
Investors will also keep an eye on trade talks between the Trump administration and China, set to start in Beijing on Monday.
Oil, banking and mining sectors all climbed.
How are markets performing?
The FTSE 100 UKX, +0.88% climbed by around 1% to 7,140.68, after finishing the previous week up 0.7%. This jump was aided by a weak pound GBPUSD, -0.2550% GBPUSD, -0.2550% which fetched $1.2899 from $1.2942 seen late Friday in New York.
“The index of leading U.K. shares tends to benefit from a falling pound as it boosts the relative value of its constituents’ largely overseas earnings” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, added.
What’s driving the markets?
Brexit talks between the U.K. and Brussels are set to begin again on Monday. However, the chances of a disorderly exit from the EU continue to mount, with only seven weeks left until the U.K. is set to leave, and little room for negotiations over the previously agreed draft withdrawal treaty.
In an attempt to patch up parliament’s political deadlock, Prime Minister Theresa May has reached out to leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn calling for cross-party Brexit collaboration and offering new concession suggestions to the Labour Party.
Trade talks are set to continue between China and the U.S. in Beijing on Monday. However, the U.S. team of negotiators will not include President Donald Trump, but instead will be headed by Robert Lighthizer and Steven Mnuchin, after Trump made it clear he will not be meeting with President Xi Jinping before the trade deal deadline of March 1.
Meanwhile, official data released on Monday revealed a series of blows to the U.K.’s economy, with 2018 growth up 1.4%, the weakest pace of growth since 2012. Gross domestic product rose at an annualized pace of 0.7% in the three months through December, down from 2.5% in the third quarter. In December alone, gross domestic product dropped by 0.4%,
What shares were active?
TUI AG TUI, +4.80% led the FTSE 100’s risers, adding nearly 5% and reclaiming some lost ground after last week’s tumble.
HSBC Holdings PLC HSBA, +1.70% added 1.5%, and Lloyds Banking Group PLC LLOY, +0.88% climbed by just under 1%. However, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC RBS, -1.71% lost nearly 2%, as the bank prepares to announces its second annual profits on Friday.
Among heavyweight major oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell PLC RDSA, +1.47% rose by 1.4% and BP PLC BP., +0.75% added 0.8%. Meanwhile, miner Fresnillo PLC FRES, +1.85% rose by 2%, Rio Tinto PLC RIO, +1.25% jumped by 1.7%.
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