Once again the FTSE struggled to break through 7200 with any substance, the index hampered by a positive start from the pound. Sterling likely wasn’t overjoyed at the news that the Article 50 bill cleared the Commons last night; however, anything that moves things into slightly less uncertain territory Brexit-wise, even if that might be pound-negative, has recently been taken well by sterling, allowing it to jump 0.2% against both the dollar and the euro as the day got underway.
With the euro showing few signs of life the DAX and CAC began the Thursday in decent spirits, both the German and French indices rising half a percent after the bell. That still leaves each down on the week, however, having suffering a sharp drop on Monday.
Elsewhere Thomas Cook drew attention this morning with its first quarter statement. It was a largely upbeat update – revenue rose 1% to £1.6 billion and operating losses shrank by 2%, with a 9% jump in year-on-year summer bookings. However, Peter Fankhauser undid this good work by unleashing the dreaded ‘cautious’ outlook, based on the ‘uncertain political and economic’ issues around the globe, comments that were undoubtedly the source of Thomas Cook’s 7% slide after the bell.