Uptick in Asia, Brexit vote and trade talks support FTSE

The FTSE is trading a touch higher as a nearly 9% share drop in plumbing specialist Ferguson is balanced out by a rally in Ocado and among housebuilders. 

The index is also being propped up by an uptick in Asian markets and a slight recovery in US 10-year Treasury yields which bounced back after last week’s Federal Reserve-induced decline. 

Concerns over the slide in the US economy are for the moment dampened by a prospect of a resolution in the Sino-US trade dispute and the end of the Mueller investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 US election, which neither implicated nor absolved President Trump. 

Pound struggles as parliament changes Brexit tack 

The London march this weekend and nearly 6 million signatures on the revoke Article 50 petition have focused the minds of MPs to come up with a new approach to the Brexit deadlock in Parliament. Last night they decided to launch a new set of votes on Brexit Wednesday but this time open it to all sorts of Brexit options rather than just a simple yes or no decision on PM Theresa May’s proposal. 

The process should show what type of Brexit has the most support among MPs and hopefully offer a way out of the Brexit gridlock. Given how close to the wire it has come the currency market remains underwhelmed. The pound has traded in jittery moves, up and down since last night's decision and is slightly weaker against both the euro and the dollar this morning. 

Apple streaming services meet cautious response

Apple revealed its most innovative change in strategy Monday expanding its services to include video streaming, streaming video game services and an Apple Pay credit card. The expansion of the services business is aiming to make up for slowing sales of new iPhones but in two of the three areas it will face fierce competition in already established markets. However, the credit card business could have decent potential for fast growth given that it comes with no fees and that it was designed in collaboration with Goldman Sachs. Still, investors took Apple’s enthusiasm with a pinch of salt and the company’s shares slipped 1.2%.

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