Shares jump as markets react to Brexit deal

UK stock markets have jumped in their first trading session after the Christmas break.

It was investors’ first chance to react to the Brexit trade deal with the EU, since markets closed early on Christmas Eve, hours before the outcome emerged. 

The FTSE 100 rose about 2.5%, while the 250-share index was up 2.1%.

But banking shares tumbled across Europe as worries persisted about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy.

Banks accounted for four of the five biggest fallers on the FTSE 100, with worst-hit Lloyds suffering a near-4% drop.

One analyst, Shanti Keleman from Brown Shipley, put the falling UK bank shares down to “no agreement on financial services equivalency in the Brexit deal”.

However, Simon French of Panmure Gordon pointed out that trading was thin even by the usual standards of this time of year. “The usual market narratives are even shakier than normal,” he added.

London’s rise on Tuesday followed gains on Monday for the main markets in Frankfurt and Paris, and on Wall Street.

Investor sentiment has also been buoyed by Donald Trump agreeing to release hundreds of billions of dollars in US pandemic spending support. He had previously refused to sign off on the deal.

The pound started strongly but then slipped back, trading 0.1% lower against the euro at €1.10. It was 0.2% up against the dollar at $1.3488.

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