Wednesday, Nov 22

British blue-chip stocks ended higher Tuesday, with EasyJet PLC helping to lead the way up as investors assessed a round of corporate financial updates. The lift came as major U.S. stock gauges rallied, with a leap in technology shares pushing the Nasdaq Composite Index to an all-time high. The pound was little changed, surrendering an earlier gain that came amid hopes that a higher divorce payment from the U.K. will unclog the Brexit process. The pound traded at $1.3230, roughly unchanged from $1.3233 late Monday in New York. Sterling initially held to higher ground after media reports that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet has agreed to increase the amount the U.K. is willing to pay the EU on its exit from the bloc. The new “divorce bill” offer could be £40 billion ($53 billion) —twice as much as previously suggested, some reports said. While the higher offer would require more EU concessions in return, it was being cheered as having the potential to spur the languishing Brexit talks back to life. U.K. public sector borrowing rose to £8.0 billion in October, up £0.5 billion from year ago, the Office for National Statistics said.