European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX
May’s draft proposal to leave the EU, which has been signed off by EU officials in Brussels, was beaten by 344 votes to 286, a margin of 58 votes. Friday’s vote was considered slightly different as it only covered the “withdrawal deal” — a near 600-page treaty that agreed citizen’s rights after Brexit, a £39 billion ($51 billion) divorce deal and how to treat the Irish land border.
Market players also turned their focus to trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing, after fears of a potential U.S. recession put global equities under pressure earlier in the week. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged Thursday to further open up market access to foreign lenders and insurance firms. And on Friday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a tweet on Friday that he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had concluded “constructive” trade talks in Beijing.
On Wall Street, stocks rose amid the renewed optimism on the progress of trade talks.
Meanwhile, Swedbank and Nordea both saw heavy selling on Friday with reports that New York’s financial regulator has sent letters to both asking for detailed information about their dealings with Danske Bank. It’s another step in a long drawn out money-laundering scandal in the region.
In terms of data, German retail sales rose more more-than-expected in February, according to new figures. Meanwhile, the U.K. economy grew by an annual average of 1.4 percent in 2018, according to a final reading of official data, the weakest expansion since 2012.