Friday, 15 March 2019

Markets mixed as UK seeks Brexit delay

Markets were mixed on Thursday.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent, the STOXX Europe 600 rose 0.8 percent and the Nikkei 225 was flat.

In the UK, Parliament voted to request an extension of the 29 March Brexit deadline to 30 June if lawmakers can agree to a withdrawal deal by 20 March.

Health Secretary Matthew Hancock said it would be "extremely difficult" but "still possible to deliver Brexit on 29 March with a deal".

He said there were now two options: "To vote for the deal and leave in orderly way or a long delay and I think that would be a disaster."

In the US, sales of new homes dropped almost 7 percent in January but Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said that “housing demand should pick up in coming months in response to the recent decline in mortgage rates”.

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