By Emily Horton
London markets were up on Thursday, after U.K. lawmakers voted on Wednesday night that Britain should not leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement in place.
Fresh industrial data from the Chinese government confirmed investor fears that the world’s second largest economy was slowing.
U.K. listed heavyweight banks gained on the FTSE 100, while mining companies struggled.
How did markets perform?
The U.K.’s FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -1.66% climbed by 0.7% to 7,211.96, after finishing up 0.1% on Wednesday.
On Wednesday evening, U.K. parliament voted against the prospect of a no-deal Brexit, leading the to an overnight surge in the pound. However, by Thursday the pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.1703% had retracted pulled back from a 9-month high reached the day before, fetching $1.3236 from $1.3337 late on Wednesday night in New York.
What’s driving the markets?
The decision that the Britain should not leave the European Union without a withdrawal deal in place was welcomed by sterling traders. However, this vote does not remove the risk of the U.K. crashing out of the EU completely.
“The fact is that it is comforting to know that no deal Brexit scenario is off the table, but at the same time there is no table,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK, told clients in a note.
“This is because May’s party is in more disarray and Brexit has become a laughing matter for everyone. Unfortunately, the law makers in the UK are like headless chickens with no clue which way to go. This element is going to keep the lid on the sterling price,” said Aslam.
U.K. lawmakers are set to vote again on Thursday, this time on whether to delay the scheduled departure on March 29.
Meanwhile, the decline of China’s economy was compounded by the country’s weakening industrial economic figures, released by the government on Thursday.
What stocks are active?
Heavyweight banks Royal Bank of Scotland PLC rose 1% and Lloyds Banking Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/202285510/delayed UK:LLOY -2.67% added over 2%.
Mining companies led the downside, given that the sector is sensitive to news on China’s economy, as the country is a big buyer of natural resources. BHP Billiton PLC /zigman2/quotes/208108397/composite BHP -1.41% /zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed UK:BHP -2.09% , Rio Tinto PLC /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO -2.29% /zigman2/quotes/202627887/composite RIO -0.46% and Glencore PLC /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN -2.28% /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN -2.28% all saw losses of 1% or more.
Away from the main index, Cineworld Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/206525056/delayed UK:CINE -14.01% jumped over 6% after posting profit that more than doubled last year, helped by its acquisition of Regal Entertainment Group.
The potential [for Cineworld] to make cost savings was always one of the main drivers of the Regal purchase and the company said today savings would be even better than previously expected at $150m this year. Better still for investors was the news that the dividend has been raised by 18% and will be paid in quarterly installments in the future” Ian Forrest, investment research analyst at The Share Centre said in a note to clients.
Travel company TUI AG /zigman2/quotes/206714402/delayed DE:TUI1 -0.31% gained just under 2%, while aerospace company BAE Systems climbed 1%.
Meanwhile, heavyweight miner Anglo American /zigman2/quotes/201381512/delayed UK:AAL -2.68% was the FTSE’s biggest loser, falling by 3%.