Tuesday, 12 February: Cautious optimism was able to lift markets this morning as Asian bourses followed a downbeat start to the week for Wall St. The FTSE was lifted by a weaker pound as well as financial and commodity stocks earlier. Slightly offset by airlines which occupied all the bottom spots. Brexit worries continue to rise as Theresa May looks to have returned to Brussels no better off, therefore pushing back any meaningful progress with the looming deadline of the 29th edging ever closer.
It was reported that Debenhams had a secured a £40m additional 12-month loan to buy more time on a longer-term deal to secure the future of the business. This will allow the store more time to negotiate with finance deals with existing lenders and ease the pressure on the store closure programme and other pending drastic changes. Shares jumped 40% in early trade before closing +28%.
Plus500, which is an online provider of CFDs for retail customers saw shares fall 30% today after issuing a profit warning for next year due to the significant regulatory changes and increased marketing expenditure, despite posting a nearly double pre-tax profit for 2018.
As US markets begin they have surged higher, on renewed hope that negotiators from the US and China will ease trade tensions at a meet later this week. Currently, the Dow sits 1.4% higher, as Brent oil jumps nearly 3% to $63 p/bbl. The FTSE eventually pared gains to close 0.06% higher for the day, lagging other major global bourses as Bank of England governor Carney warned of the economic shock that could come from no-deal. Which is nothing new and will hardly inspire some last minute incentive to get a deal sorted with Brussels but nevertheless.