Optimism Returns to London Stocks

GBP price, FTSE 100, Brexit news and analysis:

  • GBP/USD is once again trading close to the important 1.30 level.
  • Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 index is trending higher as the number of new coronavirus cases in China falls for a second successive day.
  • As the EU and the UK continue to take hardline positions ahead of detailed Brexit talks, the debate in the UK has turned to immigration.

GBP/USD near 1.30, FTSE 100 trending higher

GBP/USD is back close to the 1.30 level and showing few signs of moving either higher or lower near-term. However, the FTSE 100 index of leading London-listed stocks looks to be trending higher again as the number or new coronavirus cases in China falls for the second successive day despite a rise in the death toll to above 2,000.

Also helping European stocks, hopes are rising that China will cut its benchmark loan prime rate Thursday to offset the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

FTSE 100 Price Chart, One-Hour Timeframe (February 12-19, 2020)

Chart by IG (You can click on it for a larger image)

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On the Brexit front, both the EU and the UK are continuing to take hardline positions ahead of detailed trade talks, with EU negotiator Michel Barnier rejecting UK demands for a Canada-style trade deal that would free the UK from EU rules.

In the latest sign that the negotiations will be difficult, the latest draft of the EUs position calls for both sides to address issues relating to the return or restitution of unlawfully removed cultural objects to their countries of origin. This is widely believed to reflect calls by Greece for the return from London of the Elgin marbles, a collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures that were originally part of the temple of the Parthenon and other buildings in Athens.

Meanwhile, domestically in the UK there is a new focus on immigration post-Brexit, with the Government announcing plans to close the door post Brexit on non-English speakers and unskilled workers.

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— Written by Martin Essex, Analyst and Editor

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