Thursday, Dec 07


U.K. stocks erased an earlier loss and closed in positive territory on Wednesday, helped higher by a weaker pound amid no signs of a breakthrough in the Brexit deadlock. The FTSE 100 index rose 0.3% to close at 7,348.03, after trading as low as 7,289.36 earlier in the day. The pound fell to $1.3383 from $1.3442 late Tuesday in New York. Against the euro, sterling bought €1.1368, down from Tuesday when the pound bought €1.1367. The pound moved to intraday lows after U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis reportedly said the government hasn’t carried out any economic assessment on how Britain’s exit from the European Union will impact different parts of the British economy. Davis said the government will quantify the Brexit impact later in the process of Brexit negotiations, as there would be no point in drawing up impact assessments too early. Davis’s comments come as London is rushing to hammer out a deal on three key issues—the divorce bill, EU citizens’ rights and the Irish border—ahead of an EU summit next week. EU leaders need to agree that the U.K. has made “sufficient progress” on those issues before exit talks can move on to the second phase that includes trade and a potential transition period.