- A deal to ensure a smooth transition out of the EU for Britain on October 31 was balanced on a knife edge Monday, with several British news outlets reporting that EU diplomats wanted more concessions from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
- EU negotiator Michel Barnier told reporters in Luxembourg Tuesday morning that following discussions over the weekend, a Brexit deal is still possible this week.
European stocks rose Tuesday morning after European Union negotiator Michel Barnier said a Brexit deal between the bloc and the U.K. is still possible this week.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 slightly pared early gains to trade 0.5% higher by mid-morning. Retail stocks climbed 1.3% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses, except Britain’s FTSE 100, traded in positive territory.
Speaking in Luxembourg ahead of a critical meeting between European leaders, which will likely decide the fate of Brexit, Barnier said: “Our team(s) are working hard, and work has just started now today, this work has been intense over the weekend and yesterday, because even if the agreement will be difficult, more and more difficult, to be frank, it is still possible this week.”
Stateside, foreign policy remains center stage after President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on Turkey and halted trade negotiations with Ankara, along with raising tariffs on Turkish steel by 50%, in a bit to stop the NATO ally’s incursion in northeast Syria.
Back in Europe, Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday jailed nine Catalan separatist leaders for their role in what was deemed an illegal independence bid in 2017, sparking mass protests in Barcelona.
Meanwhile in Poland, the populist Law and Justice (PiS) party secured a second term in power following Sunday’s parliamentary election, but lost the upper house.
Earnings season kicks off in earnest across the Atlantic on Tuesday, with Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, BlackRock and J.P. Morgan Chase all due to report before the bell on Wall Street.
Stocks on the move
British recruitment group Hays saw its shares rise 4.4% after reporting flat net fees for the first quarter as overseas growth offset U.K. weakness. Ocado stock rose 4.1% after Kantar data showed its market share rising to 1.4% in the 12 weeks to October 6.
Novozymes stock traded 3.1% higher after it was announced that CEO Peder Holk Nielsen will step down to be replaced by an external hire.
Wirecard plunged 18.3% to the bottom of the Stoxx 600 after the Financial Times published documents detailing the German payment company’s accounting processes.
Data released Tuesday morning showed that the U.K.’s unemployment rate rose by 22,000 in the three months to the end of August, taking the jobless rate up from 3.8% through the spring to 3.9% over summer.
Stocks had retreated Monday after news that China wants to conduct further talks before putting pen to paper on the first phase of a partial trade deal with the U.S., reportedly requesting a halt to further tariffs from Washington scheduled for December.
U.S. Trade Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC Monday that December’s tariffs would likely go ahead without a deal in place between the world’s two largest economies.
Asian stocks traded mixed on Tuesday as investors took a cautious approach to trade developments. Chinese markets fell after pork prices in China jumped around 69% on-year in September following an outbreak of African swine fever. Overall CPI (consumer price index) inflation climbed around 3% on-year while the producer price index fell by 1.2%.