By Emily Horton
London’s markets climbed on Monday, with investor optimism driven by reports a trade deal between China and the U.S. could be reached soon.
How are markets performing?
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.21% rose by 0.7% to 7,156.87, after finishing the week down 1% on Friday.
The pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.2963% climbed to $1.3204 from $1.3205 in New York late Friday.
“The pound looks bearish on the technical charts but we know that politics drive sterling these days. Even though the UK currency has seen a correction from the $1.3350 highs over the previous week, recent news suggests that several members of PM May’s “internal opposition” are prepared to agree terms and support her efforts to deliver Brexit,” Konstantinos Anthis, head of research at ADSS, said in a note to clients.
What’s driving the markets?
Articles from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal said China was offering to ease tariffs and other restrictions on U.S. farms, chemical, auto and other products, while Washington is reportedly removing most sanctions on Chinese imports, according to an unidentified source. Reports suggest a deal could be signed later this month.
“A positive outcome would be a major catalyst for global markets; indeed, stocks are rallying in many parts of the world on Monday following media reports that the two leaders were preparing to meet,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, in a note to clients.
In Brexit news, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has launched a new £1.6bn fund to help the Britain's poorest towns — many of which voted to leave the EU — in what is being viewed as bid to get members of the Labour Party to support her Brexit deal.
What stocks are active?
Heavyweight tobacco company British American Tobacco PLC /zigman2/quotes/209116881/delayed UK:BATS -0.64% shook off earlier losses to rise 1.1% after it criticized the Quebec Court of Appeal for not overturning a decision against its Canadian subsidiary.
Meanwhile, British equipment manufacturer Rotork PLC /zigman2/quotes/200372942/delayed UK:ROR -0.50% lost 8% loss after the board of the FTSE 250 company announced it was planning for slower growth in 2019.
And shares of retailer Ted Baker PLC /zigman2/quotes/209654507/delayed UK:TED -1.04% shot up nearly 6% after the company said Chief Executive Officer Ray Kelvin has resigned with immediate effect. Kelvin took a voluntary leave of absence in December 2018 over allegations of misconduct. Acting CEO Lindsay Page will continue in the role, the company said.
Several days ago, the company issued a profit warning, mostly due to writing off unsold clothes.