Brexit takes the lead in the latest market moves as the FTSE slumped on news that talks between Britain and the EU are deadlocked.
Neither side can agree a deal that presents the withdrawal agreement in a way MPs feel they can support, bringing fears of a No Deal exit into perspective.
The EU has reportedly demanded Britain outlines a new deal in 48 hours or there’s no time left to sort out the details before next week’s second ‘meaningful’ vote in Westminster.
With three weeks to go, MPs are determined not to vote for Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal, with whips expecting a huge defeat. She is expected to lose the vote by around 100 votes.
But still no opposition MP has put forward an alternative solution.
Even German economists are starting to support a no deal Brexit. The IFO Institute reckons dropping trade tariffs would boost the UK economy and give free trade deals around the world a hand.
House prices buck trend
Against the trend, house prices hurdled the expected 1% rise to hit an increase of 2.8% in the quarter ending February 2019, says The Halifax.
Managing director Russell Galley said the shortage of houses for sale will certainly be playing a role in supporting prices.
“People are still facing challenges in raising a deposit which means we continue to expect subdued price growth for the time being. However, the number of sales in January was right on the five year average and, at over 100,000 for the fifth consecutive month, the overall resilience of the market is still evident.”
Investment house Schroders has seen a bumpy year with assets under management and full-year profits falling, but still performing slightly better than expected.
Profits before tax were down 5% to £761 million, with revenue rising 3% to £2.1 billion.