U.K. stocks were higher Tuesday as investors were encouraged by reverberating global optimism on trade.
Retailers, packing firms and supermarket stocks were among the day’s gainers.
How are markets trading?
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, >+1.95% jumped 1% to 6,879.65, supported by shares of supermarkets, engineers, banks, insurers and utilities, after finishing down 0.4% on Monday.
The pound GBPUSD, >-0.8702% eased to $1.2750 from $1.2779 late in New York on Tuesday.
What is driving the markets?
A second day of trade talks between the U.S. and China and optimism around those discussions drove global equities higher a second day, with Wall Street pointing to a third straight day of gains.
British and European officials are reported to be discussing the possibility of delaying Brexit, amid ongoing opposition from U.K. politicians to an exit deal secured by Prime Minister Theresa May last year. Parliament has been expected to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal over exit terms next week. However, the BBC reported that the government’s Brexit secretary, said the country remains committed to leaving on March 29.
U.K. supermarkets largely fended off fears of a collapse in consumer spending over Christmas with only J Sainsbury PLC SBRY, >+2.36% suffering a fall in sales among larger grocers, according to figures from consulting firm Kantar. Even so, Sainsbury shares were slightly firmer.
The South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. 005930, >+0.83% echoed Apple Inc.’s AAPL, >+0.62% sales shock on Tuesday, citing “mounting macro uncertainties” and “lackluster demand” for its unexpected fourth-quarter operating profit 29% decline.
Evidence for a global economic slowdown continues to gather. German industrial production data, released on Tuesday, reported a surprise slump for the country in November, adding to recent evidence that a nine-year recovery in Europe’s largest economy is foundering.
What stocks are active?
But rival grocery chain Wm. Morrison Supermarket PLC MRW, >+3.97% dropped 2.2% after its Christmas trading announcement was overshadowed by its younger rival Aldi, who saw 10% growth in their sales numbers on Monday. Hargreaves Lansdown said Morrison sales “are looking more and more like they need a shot in the arm.”
Miner Fresnillo PLC FRES, >-1.47% declined 2.3%.
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