Thursday, 28 March: If last night’s votes were meant to give clarity for Brexit, then they failed. The situation is as clear as mud today as MPs failed to vote for an alternative to PM May’s deal. This came after May put herself up as collateral, vowing to step-down if her vote was passed, but the DUP didn’t take the bait and still refused to back her deal. Some well known Brexiteers (Rees-Mogg & Johnson, we are looking at you) voiced they would back May’s deal (wonder why…), although the latter has backtracked today. One form of unity from the whole sage was the backing to not leave the EU without a deal, so at least we have that.
Moving on, if possible, trade talks between the US & China continued in Beijing, with all areas under discussion. Further hurdles remain when the talks move over to Washington next week, but it seems there is progress (albeit, with no end in sight yet). London indices seemed to be the anomaly amongst global equities, as negative sentiment towards equities looked to continue. Asian equities overnight dipped once more in to the red; the Nikkei in Japan falling 1.6%. Major European markets dipped lower over the course of the day while Wall Street sat flat at the time of writing. As investors mulled over global growth concerns, money flowed in to safe haven assets, with the 10-year US Treasury yield falling to 2.4% (yields move inversely to prices).
As investors further mull over what will happen next in Brexit, the pound dipped against the euro and US dollar, further falling to session lows as House Speaker John Bercow reiterated that Theresa May must change her deal before it can be put to a vote again. The FTSE100 opened higher and broke past the 7,200 mark once again. The domestically focused 250 also recorded gains as Thursday’s session came to a close. I didn’t want to mention them specially but it would be rude not to for the fourth time this week – the week’s love affair between Mike Ashley and Debenhams looks to be coming to an end as the department store look to pursue debt refinancing. Ashley hasn’t tabled a formal bid for Debenhams, but has approached Debenhams with various deals which would have injected much needed cash in to the highly indebted high-street store. Debenhams lost a quarter of market share today, sending them back towards 2p a share.