Ryan Browne, Chloe Taylor, Holly Ellyatt
European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX
In a last-ditch attempt to persuade skeptical Brexiteers to accept her deal, May traveled to Strasbourg Monday night and won legally binding assurances from the EU over the most contentious part of the deal, the Irish backstop.
After rallying against the dollar earlier in the session, sterling nosedived in afternoon trade as British Attorney General Geoffrey Cox admitted a legal risk remained present under May’s revised Brexit deal. The FTSE 100 got a slight boost from the pound’s fall, climbing 0.2 percent.
Swiss pharmaceutical firm Galenica surged to the top of the pan-European index, with shares gaining almost 7 percent after the company reported a 24 percent increase in net profit for 2018.
At the other end of the scale, Adyen stock slumped, down 5.7 percent, on news that pre-initial public offering (IPO) investors have sold a minority stake in the firm. And Telecom Italia shares fell 5.5 percent after media reports revealed on Monday that investors were at loggerheads over the future of the struggling firm.
In corporate news, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz on Monday confirmed that the country’s two largest publicly listed banks — Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank — were exploring a possible merger. Shares of both slipped on Tuesday after a strong rally Monday.
Elsewhere, carmaker Volkswagen reported a hit to its core operating margin on Tuesday, with shares falling 1.3 percent.