Thursday 20 June 2019

Brexit chaos hits Irish shares

British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville
British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo: REUTERS/Toby Melville
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Mounting evidence that a crash-out Brexit is on the cards amid the chaos surrounding the end-game for Theresa May's premiership hit Irish and domestically-focused UK shares yesterday and sterling continued to fall.

The pound dropped for a record 14th day and London's mid-cap FTSE 250 fell 1.4pc to hit its lowest point since March 29, when Britain was originally scheduled to exit the European Union.

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In Dublin the ISEQ was also down nearly 1.4pc. AIB and Bank of Ireland - bellwethers of the wider economy - were among the worst hit, each ending down more than 4pc.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May's floundering final attempt to muster parliamentary support for a Brexit deal on Wednesday sparked a fierce backlash by some Brexit-supporting ministers and the latest in a string of ministerial resignations with the departure of Andrea Leadsom.

A leadership race under way to replace Mrs May in the ruling Conservative Party and as prime minister now looks certain to culminate sooner rather than later and to return a pro-Brexiteer.

That has focused market fears on the growing likelihood of a "no-deal" Brexit when the current extension to EU membership agreed in March expires on Halloween.

As May's premiership hung in the balance, Royal Mail shares fell 10.3pc to a record low. "There is a very slight risk that with Theresa May in turmoil a (Jeremy) Corbyn government is more likely and he would nationalise businesses like Royal Mail," a trader said of the British Labour Party leader.

Additional reporting Reuters

Irish Independent

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