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Pound, European stocks climb as Brexit deal expectedBusiness — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News


The British pound fell against the dollar and euro on Wednesday as official data showed Britain’s coronavirus-ravaged economy suffering its deepest recession on record. PHOTO: Getty images

The pound and European stock markets rose Thursday with Britain and the EU finally expected to announce a post-Brexit trade deal.

Sterling was up around half a percent against the dollar and euro in early London deals.

The capital’s benchmark FTSE 100 index gained 0.2 percent at the start of a shortened pre-Christmas trading day.

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In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 index also rose 0.2 percent while Frankfurt was shut ahead of the festive break.

Traders said gains were capped by rising fears over a new strain of the coronavirus that has forced the UK to impose tougher regional lockdowns across the nation.

Britain and the European Union were meanwhile hammering out the final details of a post-Brexit trade deal ahead of what negotiators hoped would be a pre-dawn breakthrough.

The front pages of several British newspapers had already proclaimed victory for Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the quest for a pact, but in Brussels work continued.

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“The announcement by Santa-Boris comes in the nick of time,” Oanda analyst Jeffrey Halley said in a note to clients.

“Still, it leaves the UK isolated internationally due to Covid-19, thousands of trucks marooned on each side of the English Channel and follows more of England’s regions being moved into a hard… lockdown.”

Thousands of truckers endured Christmas Eve stranded near a major British port, ensnared in the chaos unleashed by the new coronavirus strain.

However European nations on Wednesday began easing travel bans on Britain that had been imposed over the strain — which UK officials believe spreads faster.

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