A step forward in Brexit negotiations gave world stocks higher momentum to an upswing supported by strong economic news from China and Japan. On Friday, Britain and the European Union sealed a deal to progress to talks regarding trade and the transition period after they agree and sign their divorce papers.
Shares across the continent rose with the news and Britain’s FTSE 100 Index, which typically moves in reverse of sterling, gained despite an early rebound for the British currency. Sterling increased about half a percent against the euro. Although. the rally died out, it was still close to a six-month high against the single currency.
“I think we’ve seen a classic case of the rumor being bought and the fact sold, with sterling having rallied early last week in anticipation of a deal being close,” said analyst Craig Erlam, adding, “We could see more upside in the pound in the coming months but as it was before, the road ahead is bumpy and that will be reflected in the currency markets”.
The pan-European share index gained 0.8 percent, moving the MSCI world equity index that tracks shares in 47 countries, up 0.2 percent.
European banks were the biggest gainers following the financial regulators reached a deal to standardize global banking regulations on Thursday. The regulations will not take effect until 2022, later than the previous expectations for 2019.
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On Friday, the dollar gained 0.2 percent against the basket on currencies while on track for its largest weekly rise in six weeks. Wall Street futures directed towards a higher open for U.S. stocks.
Asian shares rallied for the second session in a row as economic news from China and Japan surpassed expectations. Beijing reported exports climbed 12.3 percent in November from the year prior and imports rose nearly 18 percent. Japan’s Nikkei came in first as the yen improved on the dollar.
Gold reached $1,247.40 and Brent futures were up 0.7 percent at $62.91 a barrel while U.S. crude gained 71 cents at $57.40.