As the Brexit debate rages on, news that MPs will get a vote on a deal, before the European parliament and covering ‘not only the withdrawal arrangements but also the future relationship with the European Union’ took the edge off the pound’s decline as the afternoon went on. Sterling was also helped by comments from the Bank of England’s Kristin Forbes, who stated that she believes a rate hike might be need to prevent inflation from getting too unwieldy. This could only erase a small part of the pound’s losses, however, with sterling still down 0.7% against the dollar.
The euro, meanwhile, maintained its half a percent drop against the greenback, spooked by both Draghi’s pro-stimulus comments yesterday and the truly terrifying prospect of President Marine Le Pen. The Le Pen issue meant that, while the FTSE and DAX rose 0.6% and 0.4% respectively, the CAC slipped by 0.4%, the French index finding itself back under 4800 once again.
As for US markets, the Dow Jones rose 70 points after the bell despite the stronger dollar. That leaves the Dow at around 20120, effectively a fresh all-time high (its already touched a new intraday peak of 20160-ish).