The FTSE 100 and European stocks finished higher this Monday as UK prime minister Rishi Sunak signed a new Brexit deal with the EU after face-to-face talks with the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.
Sunak confirmed a deal had been reached on what he calls "the new Windsor Framework". He said it will ensure smooth flowing trade in the UK, protects Northern Ireland's place in Britain and ends uncertainty.
Across the pond, Wall Street's main indexes were higher as investors bought beaten-down shares after the main benchmarks suffered their worst weekly selloff of the year on worries of aggressive interest-rate hikes.
On the economic data side, new orders for manufactured durable goods in January plunged to 4.5%, the biggest drop since April 2020, the Census Bureau reported. The drop was more pronounced than economist estimates of 4.0%.
The pound hit its highest point of the day as news of the Brexit deal emerged. Sterling was up 0.72% against the dollar to $1.20, and has also strengthened against the euro, which is down 0.3% to be worth barely more than 88p.
Meanwhile, Primark owner Associated British Foods (ABF.L) shares were up by 1.34% after it said consumer spending remains "resilient", adding that full year expectations have improved with adjusted operating profit and earnings per share now expected to be broadly in line with the previous financial year.
Outsourcing specialist Bunzl (BNZL.L) was up by 2.69% as it held guidance for 2023 after reporting strong growth in revenue and profit in 2022 alongside two more bolt-on acquisitions in Germany and Canada.
Jet engine major Rolls-Royce (RR.L) continued its share rally, rising 5.43% after Jefferies raised it price target on the stock.
Also, Brent crude (BZ=F) lost ground and was trading at around $82/barrel as traders bounce back and forth between hopes that Chinese demand will rebound and fears of a global recession.
In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 (^N225) lost 0.11% to close at 27,423 points, while the Hang Seng (^HSI) in Hong Kong finished flat at 19,993. The Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) slipped 0.28% to 3,258 points.
Watch: Fed lost control of inflation when they started raising rates: Kenny Polcari