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FTSE higher after MPs fail to agree on Brexit alternative

The FTSE is showing surprising indifference to the complete disarray in Parliament over Brexit. Although a set of votes late Monday yielded no agreement on which direction the country should take on Brexit the London gauge is still trading 0.45% higher and even the pound, though lower, is only showing a halfhearted decline. 

The paralysis in Parliament over an alternative to the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal is having a worse effect on the euro and the DAX, both of which are weaker this morning. A disorderly Brexit doesn’t bode well for European companies as the UK is a major trading partner for them and of all the gauges the DAX is possibly in the worst position to withstand a messy and disruptive Brexit, as Germany is already flirting with a recession. 

US economic data more positive than expected

The dollar has perked up against a basket of six currencies as US economic data proved to be in not as bad a shape as feared. Manufacturing activity has improved in February as did spending on construction but retail sales showed an unexpected decline. 

Asda overtakes Sainsbury in market share

The jostling for market share in the tightly contested UK grocery market has resulted in Asda overtaking Sainsbury in March as the country’s second largest supermarket chain despite the fact that Sainsbury is currently bidding for its competitor. Sainsbury’s shares dipped 0.5% this morning, as did Morrison Supermarkets but Tesco just about held its ground. 

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