The pound rose to nearly two-year highs against the dollar today as Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that a long-awaited UK post-Brexit EU trade deal has finally been signed

Sterling rose more than 08 percent to be within a whisker of its 2020 high of $ 13624 and touching distance from its highest since May 2018

The pound had also risen by 06% against the euro and reach € 1 1151 The euro gained slightly against the dollar to USD 1 2205

After hours of uncertainty and rumors of a last minute catch on fishing rights, confirmation of the deal came just before 3pm in a tweet from Boris Johnson proclaiming “the deal is closed”

For the stock markets, which had closed at 12 noon, it was too late 30 p.m. after half-day trading for the Christmas break

But Brexit-sensitive banks, builders and retailers were already among the top winners later this morning as the FTSE 100 opened on an optimistic upswing carried by the headlines of the upcoming announcement

Lloyds Banking Group is up 5.4% or 208p to 3922, taxpayer backed NatWest is up 27% or £ 350 to £ 17045 and Barclays is gaining 36% or £ 554 to £ 15,736

Home builders Persimmon, Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley Group, clothing retailer Next, and British Airways owner, IAG, were also the main beneficiaries

Johnson was due to appear in front of the television cameras on Downing Street this morning after speaking on the phone to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to close the deal

The lag meant the FTSE 100 had already fallen back from its morning rally to only close 0 1% or 636 at 650211

The domestically focused FTSE 250 index, which acts as a proxy for the Brexit sentiment, fared better, closing 24892 points or 123% at 2054668

But the standout performer has been the pound, which has risen steadily against the dollar since Monday when it fell to 1320 for fear that Brexit talks had gotten into the ground

It was expected to continue gaining ground tonight as executives from across the UK industry welcomed the announcement

Tony Danker, CBI General Manager, said, “Companies will investigate the details immediately when they can to understand the implications for their businesses, clients and customers However, immediate government guidance is required in all sectors

“Above all, we need an urgent confirmation of the grace period to smooth the cliffs from data to rules of origin, and we need to ensure that goods keep moving across borders” ”

He said the UK has a bright future outside the EU after the deal, adding: “This will be a huge relief for the UK business at a time when resilience is at an all-time low, however, as it is so late on Day comes, it’s important that both sides take immediate action to keep trade and the flow of services alive as businesses adjust. And when a deal is made we can start our new chapter on firmer ground “”

Catherine McGuinness, Political Leader of the City of London Corporation, said: “We are delighted that both UK and EU negotiators have finally been able to reach a free trade agreement. This is positive news and, subject to ratification, is a Open a new chapter and offer companies and households on both sides of the Channel the long-awaited security at a crucial time

“We hope that this will lay the groundwork for future cooperation as independent partners. We also urge both sides to continue working on other outstanding issues, including agreeing a framework for cooperation at the supervisory and regulatory levels.” granting the adequacy of the data

“A constructive relationship between the UK and the EU will be essential to address common challenges and opportunities such as the digitization of the economy and climate change”

Helen Dickinson, Executive Director of the British Retail Consortium, said: “After years of campaigning for duty-free trade, we welcome the announcement of a free trade agreement between the UK and the EU

“Given that four-fifths of UK food imports come from the EU, today’s announcement should allow households across the UK to take a collective sigh of relief

“The UK and EU governments have taken a decisive step towards a zero-tariff agreement for the benefit of customers across Europe. You must now work to implement this new regime as soon as possible, making sure it is from first Day on, there are no tariffs, and find new ways to reduce the controls and bureaucratic effort that we will have from 1 January will see “”

Richard Burge, General Manager of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “There are likely to be unanswered questions and operational details missing. The negotiations that are going on so late in the day have not helped and I hope both the government will and the EU are open to cooperation in order to cushion the effects of the change of relationship as far as possible “”

Jasmine Whitbread, General Manager of London First, said: “It will be a sigh of relief that the government has finally done what it set out to do and has reached a future trade deal with the EU

Jasmine Whitbread, General Manager of London First, said: “It will be a sigh of relief that the government has finally done what it set out to do and has reached a future trade deal with the EU

“With a deal done, companies can focus on getting out of the pandemic and securing jobs, knowing that they won’t suddenly be cut off from our biggest trading partner

“However, there is little time for businesses to adapt to the changes they need to make, and at a time when many are being hit by Tier 4 restrictions so the UK government must do so to businesses in the months ahead support as much as possible ”

Stuart Lisle, chairman of the auditing firm BDO’s Brexit task force, said: “The lateness of the hour will not dampen the sense of immense relief among many in the business world that a comprehensive free trade agreement has been reached with the EU

“While not everyone will be pleased with the result, the return of some reassurance to the business planning process and the elimination of much of the friction that could have existed across the supply chain is very welcome”

Hinesh Patel, Portfolio Manager at Quilter Investors, said: “The news of a deal is a welcome Christmas surprise after four and a half years of endless back and forth. Despite all the headlines related to fisheries and old economic sectors that are creating tension, the sectors that will drive the new economies, such as electric vehicles and batteries, will also be at the center of the negotiations, highlighting the importance of these industries now to the UK and the EU

“The devil will be in the details, of course, so it’s too early to declare winners or losers, but the real benefit of this news is the end of four years of ‘suspended animation’ and the ability to go beyond the noise that we’ve heard since the referendum campaign began “

Fiona Cincotta of City Index UK said: “We expect these stocks, which are closely tied to the health of the UK economy, to reflect that optimism we saw yesterday when the rumors spread among local banks, home builders and retailers The idea of ​​a simpler supply chain performed strongly. These are the sectors that could do well today ”

She described the feeling that took hold of the city as: “Relief that we got there. Sheer relief that hopefully after a long four and a half years we will come to an agreement”

The UK markets close early on Thursday and will remain closed on Friday and Monday for Christmas and Boxing Day

Pound to Euro, gbp to Euro

World News – UK – Pound rises as UK and EU sign Brexit trade deal