London close: Stocks up ahead of key day in Parliament and amid positive trade headlines
Stocks finished in the green on Monday, even after the speaker of the House of Commons decided against allowing a meaningful vote on the government's Brexit proposal, helped by positive headlines around the US-China trade negotiations.
John Bercow did not allow a Brexit vote to proceed, as the House had already decided on the matter two days before.
But he was careful to note that "nothing in what I have said, in any way impinges upon the opportunity for the government to secure approval of its deal."
The government's withdrawal bill was due to be published later on Monday with a vote on it possibly following the next day - although some analysts were cautious.
By the end of trading, the FTSE 100 had added 0.18% to 7,163.64, while the FTSE 250 had tacked on 0.40% to trade at 20,308.79.
In parallel, the pound rose by 0.19% against the single European currency to reach 1.1643.
Commenting on the day's events in Parliament, IG's Josh Mahony said: "The fear for markets is that we are moving into a position where the process to pass this Brexit deal is going to be more and more convoluted."
Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, was in a similar frame of mind, saying: "Market confidence in avoiding a no-deal exit remains undimmed following Saturday’s non-vote. However, in seeking to delay and frustrate Brexit, there is a chance that MPs overplay their hand and drive the UK towards a no-deal Brexit."
Former Tory MP Ken Clarke meanwhile said that he "personally would be quite happy to conclude a withdrawal agreement," but added that "what matters is we get the right withdrawal agreement [...] and then we can proceed in a way which future generations, if we get it right or if we get it wrong, will regard as much more important than whether we actually made it for a particular day in October 2019."
To take note of as well, in remarks made on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said that the government had enough votes in the House of Commons to secure passage of Johnson's proposed deal.
For their part, analysts at Morgan Stanley told clients that despite delays in Parliament, the odds now favoured the Brexit agreement being ratified by Christmas.
"A reduction in Brexit uncertainty should lead to renewed interest (and re-rating) in U.K. equities, which are arguably one of the most unloved and undervalued areas of global stock markets," they said.
Still on home turf, according to home price comparison website Rightmove, asking prices for UK homes increased at a 0.6% month-on-month clip in October, which was less than the average 1.6% bounce seen in each October over the preceding 10 years.
In the background meanwhile, on Saturday, Chinese vice premier, Liu He, said that "substantial" progress had been made with Washington in laying he foundations for a phase one trade agreement.
Later in the session, US Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, held out the possibility that the next hike in US trade tariffs scheduled for mid-December could be shelved if enough progress was made in talks with Beijing.
No major economic releases were published in the UK, euro area or US on Monday.
Markets don't like surprises
Smith&Nephew shares pulled back from near their year-to-date highs after the medical equipment manufacturer surprised analysts, announcing the exit of its chief executive officer, possibly due to differences over his remuneration package.
Reckitt Benckiser shares were also lower, after the consumer goods giant announced that it Ahold Delhaize's finance chief, Jeff Carr, had been picked to replace finance director Adrian Hennah, who was set to retire.
Third quarter revenue at online food delivery service Just Eat grew 25% to £248m as the group reaffirmed full year guidance and losses in its Latin American operations. The company said it still expected 2019 revenue in the range of £1bn - £1.1bn and underlying core earnings of £185m - to £205m (both excluding Brazil and Mexico). However, it it still expected losses in Brazil and Mexico to be in the range of £80m - £100m.
AstraZeneca announced that its Farxiga treatment had received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to reduce the risk of hospitalisation for heart failure in adults with type-2 diabetes and established cardiovascular disease. The treatment has received marketing authorisation in the European Union and is currently under regulatory review in China, with a decision anticipated in the first half of next year.
Great Portland Estates announced on Monday that its joint venture, the GHS Limited Partnership, had pre-let the first flagship store at 64 New Bond Street to the luxury Italian menswear brand Canali, which signed a new 10-year lease covering 5,014 square feet over three floors. restaurant, and six residential apartments totalling 12,200 square feet.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Auto Trader Group (AUTO) 551.00p 3.96%
Melrose Industries (MRO) 212.70p 3.25%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 525.00p 3.22%
Centrica (CNA) 72.20p 3.14%
Smith (DS) (SMDS) 348.40p 2.57%
Glencore (GLEN) 232.70p 2.26%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 169.15p 2.21%
Fresnillo (FRES) 629.00p 2.11%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,939.80p 2.11%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 665.00p 2.09%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Prudential (PRU) 1,366.00p -9.30%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,667.50p -8.85%
Just Eat (JE.) 590.20p -5.70%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,872.00p -2.21%
Croda International (CRDA) 4,628.00p -2.16%
Rentokil Initial (RTO) 440.50p -1.98%
Experian (EXPN) 2,327.00p -1.86%
Ocado Group (OCDO) 1,305.50p -1.84%
NMC Health (NMC) 2,606.00p -1.66%
Unilever (ULVR) 4,555.00p -1.47%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Capital & Counties Properties (CAPC) 270.50p 8.29%
Rank Group (RNK) 231.50p 7.67%
Finablr (FIN) 161.00p 6.20%
CYBG (CYBG) 141.00p 5.86%
Sanne Group (SNN) 555.00p 3.74%
Polypipe Group (PLP) 457.60p 3.53%
GVC Holdings (GVC) 880.80p 3.33%
Kaz Minerals (KAZ) 448.30p 3.27%
Elementis (ELM) 154.90p 3.13%
Pagegroup (PAGE) 445.20p 3.10%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 1,012.40p -6.91%
Sirius Minerals (SXX) 3.37p -4.32%
Network International Holdings (NETW) 538.00p -2.18%
Dechra Pharmaceuticals (DPH) 2,572.00p -2.06%
Games Workshop Group (GAW) 4,492.00p -2.05%
Cranswick (CWK) 3,342.00p -1.94%
Ultra Electronics Holdings (ULE) 1,900.00p -1.71%
Airtel Africa (AAF) 57.50p -1.63%
TI Fluid Systems (TIFS) 188.00p -1.57%
FirstGroup (FGP) 132.00p -1.57%