By Emily Horton
London markets were up on Wednesday, helped by a weaker pound after Tuesday night’s vote by British lawmakers to reject a no-deal Brexit, but back an attempt to recraft an exit deal
Almost every sector was in the black, led by heavyweight energy and mining stocks.
How did markets perform?
The FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX +1.15% surged 1.7% to 6,950.71, helped by a dip in the pound on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.3203% regained some lost ground, fetching $1.3092, from $1.3067 late Tuesday. The pound fell Tuesday evening after U.K. parliament voted down Brexit amendments. Read the latest Currencies report.
What drove the markets?
British Prime Minister Theresa May now has two weeks to persuade European Union chiefs to rethink the Brexit deal they struck last year, after a majority of U.K. politicians called for the agreement’s most contentious aspects, namely the Irish backstop, to be renegotiated.
In the U.S., the Federal Open Market Committee meeting will conclude on Wednesday. Although the Fed is expected to leave its short-term interest rate unchanged, the nuances of a press conference by Chairman Jerome Powell will be monitored closely by investors.
Trade talks are also set to begin again between Chinese and U.S. officials in Washington on Wednesday. Earnings optimism was setting up for a strong rally on Wall Street, led by gains for Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +1.98% and Boeing Co. /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA +2.62% after well-received earnings reports. That optimism also fed over to London and European markets.
What shares were active?
Heavyweight miner were up, with Rio Tinto PLC /zigman2/quotes/208934945/delayed UK:RIO -2.68% and BHP PLC /zigman2/quotes/203323256/delayed UK:BHP -1.29% gaining over 2% and Glencore PLC /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN +0.06% adding 3.7%. Fresnillo PLC /zigman2/quotes/201300065/delayed UK:FRES +1.86% was up by 1.6%. Glencore PLC /zigman2/quotes/201400686/delayed UK:GLEN +0.06% added just under 3%.
Among oil companies, Royal Dutch Shell PLC /zigman2/quotes/205095589/composite RDS.A +3.40% /zigman2/quotes/206428183/delayed UK:RDSA +2.65% rose 2.4% and BP PLC /zigman2/quotes/207305210/composite BP +2.94% gained 1.7% as oil prices rose.
Car dealer Auto Trader Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/208097104/delayed UK:AUTO +0.99% was among the few decliners, dipping over 2%.