Wednesday 24 April 2019

Pound takes a fresh knock due to 'febrile' mood surrounding Westminster

Stock image: Yui Mok/PA
Stock image: Yui Mok/PA

Maryam Cockar

London's FTSE 100 was boosted by the weaker pound yesterday, which declined after a third vote on British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal was ruled out by the speaker of the House of Commons.

London's top index closed 70.91 points, or 0.98pc, higher at 7,299.19 while Germany's DAX fell 0.25pc but France's CAC rose 0.14pc.

In Dublin, in light holiday trading the Iseq index was up slightly at 6252.69. Among the biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were Paddy Power down 90p to 5,855p.

But sterling dominated late trading, down 0.66pc against the US dollar at 1.322 and 0.52pc lower versus the euro at 1.167.

Speaker John Bercow told the House of Commons that another vote on Theresa May's EU withdrawal agreement cannot take place if the motion is substantially the same as last time.

MPs defeated Mrs May's deal for second time last week, having rejected an initial version of her agreement in January. Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said the news was a "big blow for the UK government as it effectively closes off another vote this week unless Mrs May can pull a rabbit out of the hat", adding that any substantial changes to the deal seem unlikely ahead of the European Council meeting this week.

However, Mr Wilson noted that the Government had already rowed back expectations for a third vote and reports indicated that the DUP, which is propping up Mrs May's minority government, and the European Research Group were unlikely to back the Prime Minister.

"The thing for traders in this kind of febrile atmosphere is that it's not abundantly clear what this means. Does it raise or lower the prospect of a no-deal?

"Does it make it more or less likely that an extension to Article 50 will be longer than the short three months?

"Tough times trading sterling right now," he said.

Irish Independent

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