Brexit Begins



We start with the confirmation that the proposed merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management has been approved by shareholders. They target the merger to be complete on the 14 August this year, with the two firms now awaiting approval from the FCA and other similar regulators globally. Standard Life won bronze medal on the day and closed 2.39% higher as Aberdeen took silver on the FTSE 250 as shares climbed 5.01%.

Today saw the beginning of formal Brexit discussions, almost a year to the day since the historic vote. What does this mean? Well of course there are quite a lot of things to go through and clear up before the final severance package will be revealed, but for now expect steady headlines and rumours of a political divorce that will no doubt have various hiccups along the way. But for now, we’ve got to be best friends with Europe again as if we never left and then well, we’ll leave. Cheers to Europe and the beginning of the longest goodbye ever *muted applause*

Jaguar Land Rover is to create 5,000 new jobs with the aim of enhancing their autonomous and electric technology. They’re teaming up with the Gorillaz (animal theme here) to aid with innovative recruitment. Most of the jobs are to be based in the UK, with the carmaker expressing the desire to have half of all new models available in an electric version by the end of the decade.

How do you make avocados greener? No this isn’t the beginning of what we can only imagine to be a terrible joke, but rather the question to which M&S have the solution. From this week the retailer will now label avocados with laser markings rather than stickers. This saves paper and glue and may follow on other items of fruit and veg in the future. M&S shares climbed 1.56% today as retailers rebounded somewhat with Sainsbury’s amongst the other winners on the day with their shares +2.26%.

From the unexpected news last week that Amazon is looking to buy whole foods, Amazon’s shares continued to rise and hit new record highs on Monday. Shares in Ocado surged to close 11.09% higher as investors suspect a similar play from Amazon might be on the cards. Last week British supermarket shares fell as investors eyed the deal as obviously damaging to their business.

Staying over in America, US markets opened this afternoon following the positive lead from Europe, causing the Dow Jones to hit record highs as both the S&P and Nasdaq climbed higher. Last week global equities sold off a little after hawkish tones from the Fed and BoE coupled with retail and technology stocks suffering. But today on the FTSE supermarket shares rebounded a little, and mining stocks performed well. The CAC outperformed as political nerves rested following the weekend’s parliamentary elections, with Macron as expected sealing a commanding victory with 350 out of 577 seats. The CAC closed 0.95% higher today, with the FTSE finishing +0.81%.

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